Designer-inspired items at a competitive price. It’s just let down by service
For a continental take on trends the best place to try is Zara. Sports jackets, grey jersey jackets, check shirts, skinny jeans and tapered trousers all hit the mark. And there is a good mix of basics too, including a selection of cotton piqué polos. Some of it is very fresh but other parts are less appealing. The Riviera look, for example, offers light greys and pale blues and pinks but doesn’t quite work - it’s more for the aspiring lounge lizard than promenading in Cannes.
The staff were rather task oriented - refilling shelves, tidying displays - or else chatting to each other. A good service benchmark is always the experience of the confused woman who doesn’t know what she is supposed to be buying her son/nephew/grandchild. Said shopper looked more confused after speaking to staff than she did before. But the store was well lit, clean and spacious.
There are some great pieces in Zara. In magazine speak it provides many of the items that will sit alongside the more designer items in a shoppers’ wardrobe. And with keen pricing, the business should be in a strong position. Tablecloth-check shirts are £30, a grey jersey unstructured jacket is £40 and polo shirts are £15.