Monday, November 2, 2009

Incu presents Topshop and Topman

Two months ago I was in London and practically raped and pillaged Topshop, only to return two days later and find the three floors of entirely new stock. Blimey. You can literally shop till you drop in London and then some.

When I heard Incu was bringing Topshop and Topman downunder I was curious - how will a high turnover business model like Topshop work in such a tiny market, especially when selling from the racks of what is known as being more of a boutique, higher end store? The launch last week was much talked about but will it translate to sales?

I waited out the weekend and ducked in today to flick through the racks, looking for telltale signs of frantic ransacking, but no. There was plenty of stock. Every size in every style was neatly displayed, boutique style, and in a way I was quite disappointed - this is not the Topshop experience! I should be elbowing some minger out of the way to get the last size 8. If the slag beats me to the punch I should miss out and have to wait two whole days for the next shipment to arrive. This is how Topshop works, this is the thrill of it!

The prices are on par with UK prices, which is pretty darn good considering that it's apparently bloody expensive to import. That said, 20 quid sounds so much cheaper than $40, even though they're one and the same. The buyer's done a pretty good job in terms of the selection although, just quietly, some of the pieces in Incu right now are items that I saw in Topshop last season. Which means that they may well be on sale online. Like the Kate Moss Halter Mesh Dress. Maybe (definitely).

Overall I am ambivalent. It looks like Topshop, it smells like Topshop, but at the end of the day it's still just Incu selling things that the Northern Hemisphere got to buy/wear/get over months ago. I still wonder if it will be a money-spinner long term, or if the novelty will wear off and highstreet shoppers will just go back to their Sportsgirl bargain dumpbins. I did buy a cute top . . .

My new top, $40 at Incu Oxford St

Kate Moss for Topshop dress, $120 instore at Incu
or 35 pounds (approx $70) at