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Shoe Zone, 84/85 Western Road

A good effort on military boots but the store is desperately in need of a revamp.

Looks 6

Military boots are the standout style in this store.

A black, just-above-the-ankle version with laces and a zip fastening looks appropriately fierce and a distressed grey version with hiking boot ankle padding and hook-and-eye fastening is also a good effort. A Dr Martens-cum-Timberland hybrid boot misses the mark as the last is too cumbersome. Black canvas ballet flats with vamp bow detail impress, as do stud-front flats. Sequin slingbacks offer a cheap dose of sparkle.

Experience 4½

Shoe Zone has an unpleasant smell of plastic that a plug-in air freshener would solve. The store is merchandised neatly but unsightly brown stains on the stools don’t entice Drapers to sit down. Shoe Zone is on a corner unit and one window is boarded up, making the outside look shabby. As a result this store is in urgent need of a revamp. Staff were friendly, although frustratingly all styles and sizes were on display - there were no extra sizes in the stockroom.

Value 5

With its poor in-store experience, Shoe Zone can’t justify the price of some of its styles. It’s a good sign that Shoe Zone has a trend-led military boot offer but the price of this style needs to come down from £24.99 to £15 to make it a compelling purchase for the younger customer as Primark is just up the road. An interpretation of the Ugg Cardigan style is great at just £9.99 and the funky trainer styles sold in bargain bins outside for just £1.99 entice shoppers inside.

Score 15½

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