Advantages Huge selection of bits and bobs of all descriptions, reasonable prices.
Disadvantages Parents must hate it, there are too many Claire's shops popping up everywhere, the layout is terrible.
Did you know that Claire's is American? And yes, just like the other famous American exports, McDonalds and Gap, you can not escape! Nearly every high street has a Claire's accessories on now. London has to be the worst place as it is infected and over-run by the claire disease! I challenge anyone to spend a day in London without seeing at least 20 of them! So why are they so popular?Before Claire's accessories, there was Bow Bangles, which was fairly similar to be honest. But apart from that and the expensive Accesorize, there was no shop that sold only accessories, especially for kids and teenagers. Top Shop and Miss Selfridge sell accessories, but only a limited selection which is also quite expensive. So along came Claire's to save the day..and to cause hell for parents of little and not so little girls everywhere!
I have no idea who the famous "Claire" is but she must be a very rich lady by now, even with the bargains on offer in her little shops.Claire's is aimed at pre-teen and teenage girls but (shock horror) there are plenty of bits and bobs in there for the older customer. I feel old going in there myself (I'm 19) as it is usually packed out with younger girls. Spot the boyfriends lurking outside! My boyfriend usually tries to drag me past a Claire's shop, or else he will stand outside and have a fag whilst I browse inside. You can be guaranteed that I will always find something I want. Ok, so I don't *need* a fluffy tiara, but it won't stop me shelling out a few quid for one! Look, it will look great for a party, ok?
Most of the stuff for sale is under a fiver with a few things like cushions, t-shirts and bags for over a fiver. Placed strategically around the counter are plastic containers containing *special deals" which change every week, from perhaps hair clips for 99p to patterned tissues. The poor assistants have to ask every single customer if they would like to buy the special deals, which is where the Mcdonalds style influence comes in-"would you like fries with that?" You also get accosted the moment you walk in the door by an assistant who asks if you want a basket. Call me a cynic, but this is a clever marketing ploy as you can fit lots more accessories in a basket than in your hands!All the staff that I have experienced have been friendly, and they are often decked out in their own accessories and glitter from the shop which looks fun and funky. Warning- the queues can be quite long, so take a book! I'm sure it's another ploy to try and get you to buy more of the stock which is displayed around the counter. There is a huge selection of key rings and cheap gifts such as notepads placed around and on the counter.
All of the staff seem to be young girls themselves which is understandable-I don't know many teenage boys who would want to work in a pink, fluffy environment! There is always fluffy pop music such as Britney Spears or S club 7 playing (or Christmas songs during the festive period) to entice the youngsters in like the Pied Piper.
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