Great-priced basics but lacks the wow factor of some rival shopping experiences
If Gap is preppy clothing sold as a commodity, Uniqlo gives the concept a slightly more urban feel and delivers in spades. Its tie-up with Jil Sander, called +J, has leant it credibility and without it Drapers is not sure it would have such allure. Of course, Uniqlo does the basics well. There are lots of polos, chinos and linen shirts while the season’s must-haves are also available - madras checks and unstructured cotton jackets feature heavily.
This store is more white-box, bright-light retailing - and it is dispiriting. The product is easily found and viewed, which makes for quicker and simpler shopping but there is little to engage the emotions, to make customers feel good about shopping. Sadly, the staff were not particularly engaging either. One assistant was more interested in catching up on the latest gossip from her friend than in assisting Drapers.
Uniqlo undoubtedly offers competitive prices: madras check shirts are £17 (reduced from £20), linen shirts £20, plain polos £13, chinos £20 and placement-print T-shirts £13. And the quality appears to be better than at many of its rivals. But Drapers was unconvinced by the premium charged for +J, where a striped, unstructured cotton jacket is £70 against a mainline linen unstructured jacket - admittedly without some of the internal detailing - at £40.
‘Everything at Uniqlo comes in a great range of colours and comes out of the wash as good as new. But the sizing can be a bit confusing’
Damien Bonnet, visual merchandiser, 22