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Topshop, 50-53 Southgate Place

A store that comes top of the class for product at the right price.

Product 9
In a season where there is sometimes little to differentiate between retailers’ product offerings, walking into Topshop is like a breath of fresh air. The 1970s trend is certainly there, but executed in a distinctly Topshop way. A cape-like top with super-wide sleeves and thin tassels stands out, as do delicate hand-crocheted cardigans and pretty scalloped-edge blouses. A lace dress with a pleated skirt is spot on, while the trouser offer - cropped, flared, high-waisted - is superb.

Experience 8
Huge point-of-sale material from Topshop’s spring 11 campaign perfectly complements the offer in store, which screams of spring as soon as the customer comes through the doors (lovely sunflowers in the window reinforce the message, too). The changing rooms are small but clean, and staff are friendly and helpful.

Value 8
Topshop may be more expensive than River Island by some way, but with this sort of design direction, it can get away with it. Trousers are great value from about £38, as are blouses for £24. Topshop just about gets away with maxi dresses at £70; it also offers an impressive Abigail’s Party-like maxi smock dress with huge sleeves for £34. But the jury is out on whether the crocheted cardigans will sell at £46.

Score 25

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