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Liverpool’s busiest store pulls in the crowds with good trend-led product and smiley service.

After a bit of a slip in last season’s Hit or Miss report, Office is back on form for spring 12. All the trends are ticked off, with ice cream pastel colours and bold neon pops, chunky heels, wedges and heels worked in cork, raffia and wood with espadrille finishings. There is also a big push on the catwalk-inspired flatform, which is seen in almost 20 styles
and will be key for the store’s younger trend-conscious customer. Young fashion brands like Vans, Converse and Toms are given pride of place at the front of the store, alongside the more directional brands such as Underground and Dr Martens.

Women’s key espadrille-style wedges from Office’s own brand start at about £45 and go up to £65 for a leather-outer and leather-lined version, which is good value. Flatforms too show a good price architecture, ranging from £25 and going up to £65, similar to Topshop’s £22 to £55 offer. On brands such as Toms for men, Office (£34.99) edges ahead of the likes of Schuh (£35) (just) but also offers a selection of exclusive colour variations. Office’s own label espadrilles at £14.99 seem steep compared with some stores, but a two for £20 offer will get customers spending.

Office was one of the busiest stores Drapers visited, with a barrier created for queuing customers (we even left and came back later, it was that busy). Nevertheless, a member of staff was positioned on the door to greet all customers, asked if they were looking for anything in particular and even directed them around the store. Considering how busy it was, staff were still very helpful. The store was bright and well laid out, with shelving and freestanding displays dividing up well-organised trends.

View the full report here

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