TK MAXX - CHARING CROSS STORE
Unfortunately I'm not quite established enough to have been invited to go to the opening night of the new TK Maxx Charing Cross store, however, since it is only round the corner from where I work, I managed to get in on my lunch break on the day it opened to the public! Considering I hadn't really seen or read much about this store in the press I was surprised at how BUSY it was! There wasn't a queue out the door when I arrived, which I was pleased about as I only had an hour, and I wanted to make sure I could get a good look round! But there were plenty of people inside rummaging amongst the rails.
Apologies in advance for the low quality photos - the security were a bit more anti photos than I'd hoped and so I had to use my phone and try and be a bit discreet!
I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'm not a huge TK Maxx shopper, my favourite ever TK Maxx store is the new one in Nottingham. But this was mainly great for menswear. I managed to find my boyfriend and Dad, John Smedley jumpers on three different occassions for £30 which I thought was a great find as they are such nice jumpers and can cost up to £125!
However, the new Charing Cross store promised to have a much better selection and variety introducing a new range called 'Gold Label' which promised to include high end garments from Designer Ranges.
When I arrived I didn't have too high expectations since I arrived half way though the day and had missed the big launch night event so didn't think there would be too much left. However I was pleasantly surprised. The rails did look a little bare, but there was certainly still a lot on offer and hopefully, if this is maintained, once the initial excitment of the opening calms down, this store could be a bit like an Aladin's Cave!
Naturally I headed straight to the 'Gold Label' collection and was surprised to find items from Missoni and Stella McCartney. Not neccesarily items that I would wear but still lovely pieces none the less and in great condition etc.
Above - Stella McCartney jacket.
In general I think one of the main things on the TK Maxx team's agenda was maintaing the store's appearance and ensuring that customers were served as quickly as possible. However there were still the inevitable long changing room queues, (see below photo) but this is due to the basket fulls of clothes people had. Seeing all the baskets lined up in the changing room area reminded me a bit of being in Primark!
The changing room process is a bit weird, I'm guessing this is for security reasons, but now, when you're waiting to go in, you have to put your items on a rail for the shop assistant to count, rather than just counting in your hand. This I suppose will help prevent people hiding items amongst others, but thought it was a bit uneccessary and did slow down the process somewhat! Maybe this will stop once the store calms down and isn't super busy following the opening!? Who knows, or maybe I'm just being moany, but for me I thought it was a bit pointless, especially as I only had 1 item!!
The interior of the changing room, along with a soft leather bench which was quite a nice touch!
This is a Stella top that I really wanted, £69.99 instead of £250, but didn't fit! Boo!
Whilst queuing for the changing rooms, the security alarm went off. This has to be the loudest alarm I've ever heard! and caused a lot of women to come out the changing room to ask if there was an actual fire or anything! Minor drama!
Aside from that... it was not only the clothing department which showcased high end products, the beauty section was also pretty well stocked! There were creams by Elizabeth Arden then a great selection of perfumes, including my favourite scent by Paul Smith, Extreme (see below), at only £16.99 instead of £35-£40! Other brands included were Kenzo and Ghost.
However, there has to be a negative somewhere right? Well the shoe department really didn't impress...check out the trainer collection in the photo below... attractive huh?! The shoes really weren't great to be honest. The only pair of shoes that I would consider putting on my feet were these Nine West black heels (see below right), sure quite a good bargain at £34.99 instead of £75-£90, but pretty boring really!
Overall, the shopping experience was quite pleasant, there were definitley more hard core bargain hunters there who were more intersted in the clothes than the free wine on offer! There were staff everywhere, making sure the rails were tidy and getting the clothes back out on the shop floor from the changing rooms as soon as possible. The team on the whole looked efficient and well managed. I hope that this is maintained and that it won't only be for the first few weeks whilst journalists will be following the store and doing a number of write ups. I also hope the seleciton of brands within the store will carry on as it could be a great place to go to try and get your hands on high end Designer goods for not so bank crippling prices!
Have any of you guys managed to get to the store yet? What do you think of it? I'm not a converted TK Maxx fan now, but it is good to know that stores like this are in central London and may offer hidden treasures! It may also be a good place to go for chritmas presents, especially if the perfume collection is kept at the standard I may well pop back to get a couple of gifts for people who you're not always sure what to get, but perfume is always a winner!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!