Next’s bread and butter may be its workwear and basics offer, but there is plenty else on show at its Westfield store, with the retailer backing the sculptural, floral and boho trends in the form of pin-tucked floral dresses, smock tops and tunics and volume-on-hips dresses and skirts. The sculptural trend filters into its main tailoring and workwear collections too, with structured, cap-sleeved dresses alongside basic black trousers and white blouses.
Next places its trend-led product, notably the boho, floral, sculptural and nautical categories, at the front of the store, alongside its Signature sub-brand (CHK), making up about a third of the offer. But basics and workwear form the mainstay of the collection. There are also large, dedicated petite, maternity and denim sections, with footwear and accessories at the back of the store.
Next picks some of its best pieces to adorn its mannequins on the window display, which show off the structural and floral trends. Even the sales assistants were loyal to trends, with one looking as if she could have come from Reiss with her structured, tiered black skirt. The store is tidy and well laid-out, with each category clearly defined.
Suits are good value at £100, as are white and navy linen trousers for £23 and floral dresses for £25. But plain black trousers for £23 struggle to compete with Marks & Spencer’s more detailed versions at £25. An all-in-one tank and blouse with chiffon-like sleeves is good at £35, but makes a simple blouse look expensive at £25.