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BHS- Needs to 'up their game!'
BHS British Home Stores
Member Name: lak11
BHS British Home Stores
Date: 08/03/10, updated on 08/06/13 (117 review reads)
Advantages: Many different items under one roof
Disadvantages: jaded, untidy and unwelcoming
I used to love shopping at British Home Stores and therefore was a frequent customer of theirs. I now find it not nearly as good as it used to be and usually find I wander around and then, feeling disheartened, leave without buying anything. This saddens me as I used to love this shop and, to me it was an institution.
I am mainly basing this review on the BHS stores in Ilford shopping centre and Romford. Perhaps stores in other areas are superior.
I often used to visit British Home Stores twice weekly. Then my children were younger so I had more use for BHS. I didn't only buy for the children though. I would also buy clothing for myself, occasionally my husband, although he has never been much of a fan of this store, gifts for family members, and household wares.
I was also a frequent user of the restaurant. I always found staff in the restaurant very helpful at the Ilford, Essex, branch. This is going back some years but they would find me a quiet area to breast feed my baby son and, when older, offer to heat up jars of baby food. I don't often visit the restaurant these days but I hope the helpful qualities of staff still exists. It isn't easy shopping with children so every kindness is invaluable.
Now, alas, I find the stores to be very jaded. When I walk into the store it seems to me very disorderly. I do sometimes buy their jeans but find they are pretty much to be found all over the ladies' section, which greatly adds so much extra time needed to shop. I also find that I need to try every pair on as I buy from the same range but a size 12 can come up fitting differently even in the same pair of jeans! Recently I spent ages trying to find the right sizes jeans in the particular colour I wanted and, feeling exhausted, trotted over to the changing room only to be told that they were closing. There was over ten minutes to go before final purchases. I explained that I wouldn't be long and had been looking for the correct size for ages but was met with, "No, you're too late". This attitude certainly won't encourage new, or keep, existing customers.
About three years ago I took out my BHS card ready to collect points whilst making a purchase. As I went to make my purchase I realised I no longer had possession of the card so it must have fallen from my hands in the store. I asked at the counter if it had been handed in but the staff weren't in the least interested. I had collected quite a few points but there was no help or information on redeeming these, forthcoming.
I think the quality of BHS clothes is overall, just a little above average but certainly not fantastic or, even, very good. Generally clothes are a little overpriced for what they are but they do have good sales and offers. I used to swear by the quality of BHS T shirts and used to purchase most of my holiday wardrobe there but in the last few years I have been very disappointed. I now prefer Debenhams, or even Matalan to BHS. I have been told that the childrens' range is better value than the adults.
The house ware range is quite nice but, in my opinion, generally overpriced.
I think the best buys are in their own branded underwear. When it comes to other brands, such as Sloggi, they do sometimes have offers but these are best bought at places such as Matalan.
Last Christmas was probably the first time that I didn't purchase ANY items from the gift section. They may have offers such as three for two but I think they are overpriced in the first place and similar items can be found at other stores cheaper. I was very annoyed when my husband pointed out a range of gifts selling at three for two. These were looking so pretty and placed on a tiered shelf. We thought we'd done really well only to queue and then be given a larger bill than expected. When queried we were informed that our chosen purchase wasn't included! well I know this happens but the way it had been displayed I think was to fool people into buying these, believing they were part of the offer. I refused to buy the items!
I think British Home Stores still has a part to play on the High Street. I would hate to see it go. I really do believe they need to up their act quickly or they will go. I know many will not agree with my review as they would find BHS useful. After all there aren't that many department stores to be found in lots of areas these days. But please realise that I am partly judging this store in regards to how it is, in my opinion, going 'downhill.' Even the toilets are often in disrepair and they should be of a much higher standard. Also the BHS stores I enter are very untidy and, to me, are not at all welcoming.
A similar review can be found on Ciao by AnneLorraine1
Summary: This store needs to improve quickly