Not enough new product, disappointing shopper experience and higher than expected pricing.
After a strong few seasons leading the high street trends, Drapers was disappointed with the offer from Office, which failed to inject enough newness. There wasn’t enough of an update on the wedge, and textile uppers were not visible. The leopard slipper shoe was standout but Drapers expected more of an update in print, with the emerging zebra trend picked up by Topshop. A shearling ankle boot is one of the first seen when walking in. Being a trend-driven brand, this autumn 10 trend should not take precedence at the front of store.
The glass shelving gave a good view into the store and leads the customer in well with a strong visual display of own-label and branded product, both men’s and women’s. There was no welcome into store and Drapers was not approached during the time spent in the store, although staff did appear overstretched.
As expected, most shoes are below £100. A flat brogue is priced at £65, which seems a bit steep for a staple trend of the season, with a boot variation better priced at £80. Leather ballet pumps come in at £55, which sits at the top end – River Island and Schuh in comparison are £20. The price architecture would stand up better if there was a real point of difference from alternatives in the market. Customers can easily scale down to the New Look or Primark versions of the on-trend styles here.