Despite quality product, it misses out on top spot due to Primark’s more tempting prices.
A marked improvement on the past couple of seasons, New Look impresses for autumn. Burgundy and mustard are seen on trousers – arguably the best offer at the centre – dresses and faux-leather or corduroy shorts. Aztec and Fair Isle knits make up a strong knitwear offer.
The 1970s trend is delivered via lovely floral print or block-colour blouses, pleated skirts and high-waisted trousers. Faux-fur coats and gilets are excellent, while beading on trims and shift dresses tick the texture and 1960s trends.
Two huge windows showing off colour, prints and knits (and their attractive prices) draw in shoppers, who are instantly greeted by well-styled mannequins. The front of the store is clearly segmented into trend or strong product categories – notably the 1970s, knitwear, colour and texture – while the rest of the store is split into product categories only. New Look packs in a lot of product and, while the store was perfectly pleasant on a Wednesday morning, you wonder if it might feel cramped on a busy Saturday.
Prices may be more expensive than those at Primark, but New Look’s better quality and design direction justify this. A raspberry mac stands out at £29.99, as does a great white faux-fur coat for £39.99. Meanwhile, the retailer’s impressive trousers in slim-cut, olive, terracotta and burgundy styles are just £22.99. A pussy-bow blouse is only £16.99 and lace shift dresses start at £24.99, increasing to £39.99 for an all-over sequined version. Knits start at a reasonable £17.99.