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Hit or miss: Office - 23/30

Merchandising lets this store down - which is a shame, as what’s on offer looks on song for spring 13.

  • Arndale Centre

Product 8

If it’s cut-out detail spring boots you want, Office is the place to go, with a strong range of five or six styles to choose from. Spring trends are in abundance elsewhere too, with jelly shoes already in store as well as plenty of neon, wooden heels, tropical prints and Aztec designs. For menswear, it’s branded product such as Vans that stands out the most, indicating the own brand offer isn’t hugely inspiring, although Office contrast-toe brogues provide an interesting formal option.

Value 8

With £65 for a low-heeled suede pump and £54 for patent ballet flats, the prices are higher than similar designs in Next but are made from real leather. £75 to £80 for cut-out boots can’t compare with Topshop in terms of price, but the unique designs boost the value, which is an overall theme in the store. In men’s, Converse hi-tops for £44.99 are the cheapest seen anywhere during this Hit or Miss, and £45 for cut-out raffia brogues is reasonable. Two for £15 on espadrilles is a bargain, although the quality of boat shoes doesn’t match up to the £50 to £65 price tags.

Experience 7

As my male companion pointed out, one of the problems with Office is that it doesn’t separate men’s and women’s Converse, Vans or other similar brands into different sexes. The worry of accidentally picking up a woman’s shoe has previously put him off making a purchase, which is annoying. Otherwise, the store is spacious, with plenty of seating areas, but the entrance is let down by an overly crowded window display.

23/30

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