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Archive for August, 2011

It’s been a while. Life has a habit of interfering with ……….well……….with life I suppose. For me it has been a summer of weddings and travel.

Back in London and probably influenced by gathering clouds and rain, I decided to visit the shopping mecca of Brent Cross.

It was teeming with the like minded…………..except most of them were pushing buggies. Has there been an unreported baby boom? And are the latest brands of baby carrier on steroids? Huge and laden with stuff……………discarded outerwear, copious carrier bags, baby essentials and dried blobs of food. None have a volume control, but most carry at least one screaming child. They have become the transport equivalent of slow-moving articulated trucks, their open rear end a motorway spill of dribble and crumbs.

I dodged the oncoming wheels and decided to take a look in Marks and Spencer. Sad is the first adjective that comes to mind. Not even the trusty underwear could thrill. Squeezed onto tightly spaced racks it drooped off the plastic hangers like all our yesterdays. The Limited Collection is a thrift shop of dull knits. One flirty red jersey dress is just not enough. Further back in the store I discovered the re-birth of elastic waist trousers! Nylon in feel, their wide static laden legs impersonated one of this winter’s trends. As for the Per Una Collection………much of it on the floor………….words fail me. Accessories are bundled amongst skirts, toiletries almost tip off their shelves into the thoroughfare of the mall, and children’s wear spills into the men’s department. It seems with a complete disregard for their customer, that returns must now be made only on the top floor. Maybe they are embarrassed by the long crocodile line which is forced to stand squashed in a tiny area hidden behind a wall. This is the busiest department and arguments abound.

But as a note of hope, I did see two elderly blonde women, slapped in make up and gold chains, both in thrall with a pair of leopard print shoes, so I am forced to admit that despite my lack of retail joy there really is a customer for everything.

Bet Lynch: The ideal elderly blonde shopper?

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