Sunday, 26 July 2009
Shopping for Beth Ditto in Bluewater
Just spent a week in Kent which is the opposite side of the country from where I live. Shopping was not something I really wanted to do but Friday was rainy and too miserable for sightseeing so en famille we trooped off to the famous Bluewater Shopping Centre just outside London, home of the banned hoodie. (I got Jackson to wear one there of course).
And although sad to say there was not much in the whole place available in plus sizes (A House of Fraser with nothing over a size 18 was a partiucular joy). However they did have a decent sized Evans wherin I had one of my oddest shopping experiences ever.
I'd not had a chance to look over the Beth Ditto at Evans range since its launch in early July and they had it displayed promiently at the front of the shop. There was also a very solicitous (though not plus-size) lady asking me what I thought of the range and recommending that I try on a couple of key pieces. This has never happended in Glasgow! I'm not sure if I liked it, she was friendly enough but the approach did seem a bit heavy-handed though it is a pleasant change from the outright hostility I've come across in other fashion emporia.
So I browsed through the clothes as discretely as possible. There are some cute things in the range for sure which the 20 year old me would have swooped up by the armful. I'd love this range to do well which would surely signal to fashion retailers that there is a market for directional clothes in larger sizes, but I'm just not confident that it will.
Anyway I picked up a pair of these lovely pumps which are possibly the most conservative items in the range. I'm wearing them write now and and love them, they are comfy, cute and distinctive. However again at the sales counter the assistant remarked "Oh, you are buying from the Beth Ditto range, isn't the stuff great?" and asked where I had heard about it. I mumbled something about the Evans website and tried to pay but she was up for a full dialogue about the merits of the clothing line. (There were others behind me waiting to be served too) Now I'm really puzzled by this and by my negative reaction to it. I want to be able to say that I enjoyed the attention of sales staff but I think I'm not quite up to it. I'd love to know if this sales pitch is normal for England, Bluewater or was it just a desparate Arcadia ploy to shift a difficult line in which they have over-invested? I may investigate farther...