Today, as a part of my research and a part of my new project, I went to the shop I chose to visit in Cambridge and research, which is ALL SAINTS. It is located in the Grand Arcade shopping centre and it is a second one after Hollister right when you walk in to the shopping mall from the main entrance.
The entrance of the shop has a big “shining” logo that is made up of big light bulbs. Have to say, that’s quiet original. I do think it draws the eye of the costumer inside the store, at least it makes it a bit more exiting to walk in and see what’s inside. The show-windows are huge long see-through glass (the door as well), with 5 boring mannequins without heads (sign of lower budget and more commercial brand) standing and facing the halls of the shopping mall with huuuuge “50% SALE” sign in the middle of the glass, which again, personally, draws me away but for many people that’s a win win.
Right when you walk into the store, you’re already facing huge staircase made up of steel or whatever metal it was, accompanied by the sign “men’s” with an arrow pointing upstairs. This is what the ground floor looks like:
One thing that caught my eye personally was this huge, I don’t even know what to call it, for me it seemed like a piece of floor, cut out, flip it upside down with light bulbs on the outline of this rectangle that kinda gave the whole mood to at least the ground floor definitely. Here is a pic from another corner of the store:
Very grimy, very urban and it almost reminds me of an actor’s changing room or one of those “behind the scenes” scenarios. The music in the store was loud. I was confused with the genre of the music they were playing, for me it seemed like pop and a little bit of rock here and there, but not like David Bowie stuff, I wish, heh. The atmosphere in general is dark, wooden floors, dark walls and ceiling with either light bulbs or those huge light projectors. It felt like I was at one of those underground clubs, only the disco ball was missing.The store has two floors which is impressive. The one material I kept seeing was steel. Everywhere. Very rough and dark. Not a lot of colour at all, grey mostly, which by the end of my trip started to get a bit boring and clothing racks started to seem as one blob of colour. The staff was wearing usual “all black”, nothing original about that. What I’ve noticed as well is, some stores use fragrances inside, to kind of “mark the spot” and be a little but more extra. It is not necessary at all, just a small detail, it’s a preference of the owner, however, All Saints don’t use any fragrance inside their stores.
The accessories was laid out on the ground floor, there was a huge rack of bags which I though looked a bit messy and tasteless, but to be honest I’m not a big fan of this brand’s bags, so I’m trying to be as positive as I can here. And there was another “tray”, if I can say that, with small wallets and chains that looked rather cute and clean but a bit empty and boring.
About the clothing. I’ve spend good 20 minutes in the store, walking around, separating different types of merchandise with my eyes because the majority of them was one colour and you couldn’t really understand if that was a t-shirt or a dress. Overall, the clothing looked neat, nothing to say about that, I found few pieced I liked but that was it. I tried to take as many photos as I could, but it was difficult, because the staff was always walking around, moving stuff around and re-folding the clothes for no reason, one of them gave me a weird look and started talking to someone on her walkie-talkie, that’s when I realised it was time for me to go.