Just like buses, nothing comes along for a while and then you get at least two arriving within seconds of each other. The same can be said for retailing. Central London has just opened its doors to two new fashion stores; from Poland, Reserved and from the H&M retail family, Arket. I went to see both to check out their bag offerings.
From Oxford Circus, go west for no more than a minute, along Oxford Street and you will find Reserved. For Arket, go south down Regent Street in the direction of Piccadilly Circus and you will find it half way down on the left.
Reserved feels a little like H&M or Zara. Launched using Kate Moss on the advertising, I was expecting an edgy street style fashion. This may be found in the clothes but not the bags, disappointingly.
One positive for a shopper on the hunt for a bag is that whilst the bags were dotted around the store they are also grouped together centrally. Thank you! The shame here is the bags just don’t wow. There wasn’t one shape or style that made me want to buy.
Onwards onto Arket. On arrival there was a familiar feel and it took a moment to work out that it reminded me of Muji. Two things though that set this store apart are the cafe and women’s wear is upstairs (can you guess I hate not being able to browse on the ground floor).
The merchandising is refreshing and quality over quantity seems to be the guiding star here. I did spot two lovely leather bags; a tall tote bag and a green shoulder bag.
The only recommendation I have is; either a product tag or product card please that explains a bit more about the quality of the handbags and therefore the price. I get the the minimal ethos – there is little detail around not just the clothes, store design and product information.
However, there is competition around this price point for leather bags and it would be great to know these lovely leather bags are worth the price and not just considered an everyday product, like a glass jar or tracksuit jacket.
These lovely leather bags I saw are likely to last longer than a pair of white Stan Smiths. And the designs are classic in style to weather the seasonal trends in accessories. Come on Arket, let’s celebrate the quality of these items a bit more.
If you have come across a new store that sell bags, drop me a line in the comment section below as I would love to experience them.