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Hit or miss: Womenswear Spring 14

For the first in this season’s series that rates retailers’ collections and stores, we check out the womenswear offer in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen, or the Granite City as it is sometimes known, is the third largest city in Scotland.

Its retail landscape includes three major shopping centres. The largest, Union Square, opened in 2009. The £250m development is Scotland’s second-largest city centre shopping scheme, with 700,000 sq ft of retail space.

Nearby, Bon Accord and St Nicholas, originally two separate entities but now combined, which opened in 1985 and 1990 respectively, form one of the other hubs. The Trinity Centre, which opened in 1984, is the third.

Although Aberdeen’s shopping scene is slightly fragmented, the Scottish east coast city’s comprehensive high street retail offer makes it a prime candidate for our Hit or Miss series.

This season, womenswear sees several key trends coming through from the spring 14 catwalks, including pastels, neons and sports luxe, while some retailers scored highly for their particular attention to detail when it came to micro-trends such as paint-splatter effects and metallic fabrics.

Value was an interesting aspect this season, as the high street has seemingly moved towards a middle ground in terms of pricing, and there differences are less noticeable between retailers at the moment. This makes quality and design more important than ever in the battle to win customers.

In relation to this, windows could have served product better, with some retailers losing points for displays that were not only unimaginative, but didn’t actually reflect the stock on the shop floor.

Service continues to fluctuate between stores, and many in Aberdeen disappointed Drapers this season, suggesting that a little more initiative from sales assistants could go a long way.


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