Key pieces in the windows draw in shoppers, so it’s a shame the prices are a little high.
Most of autumn 11’s key pieces are here, but often worked in a way that appeals to Next’s mainstream shopper. Patterned and chunky knitwear looks good but is never too directional and there is a strong selection of coloured chinos in slightly washed-out shades that suit the customer. Good db pea coats, waxed and quilted jackets work a heritage look, while basic suits and shirts cater for office workers.
The windows do a great job of highlighting the key pieces and drawing customers in, and product is mostly merchandised by category, making shopping the store easy. Displays are also strong, with a sign explaining the different denim washes and fits, as well as a whole wall of formal shirts organised by colour and size. None of the staff approached Drapers, although they were helpful when asked.
Prices seem a little high this season, with £75 for premium jeans, £32 chinos, £35 for a hooded plaid shirt and a £50 gilet all a little pricey, especially for the quality when compared with competitors. Quilted jackets for example are £65, only four pounds cheaper than Marks & Spencers’ better-quality version. Suiting is better value, starting at £50, even for the trend-led slim-fit style. Special offers include a pack of two shirts and a tie for £32, and basic T-shirts are two for £12 or three for £18.