Barratts are Back! Is this good news?

   Those who have been long-time readers of The Totality may be aware that, a small while back in my professional career, I spent my working hours at one of Britain's most well-known shoe brands. My day job, much of which involved discussing fashion and footwear with blogging peers, was, for the most part, a joy.

   Alas, fate caused us to part - I to pursue a career closer to cinema and, with great sadness, Barratts ultimately ended up going into administration once more. All my former colleagues were laid off and this looked like the end for the high street heritage brand.

   So, imagine my surprise when I recently received a new email from the company announcing their relaunch as an on-line only outlet (a very wise decision and perhaps one which should have been pursued a good three or four years prior to this). The big question (particularly when taken in context with the multitude of stock issues which blighted the brand in the last twelve months of existence in its former form): Is Barrats return a good thing? 

   To investigate, I had a peruse of the web-site to see if the brand had changed to any noticeable degree.

HX London Boots - £39.99 / Stone Black Leather Work Boot - £24.99 / PSL Brown Leather Boot - £39.99

   Pleasingly their men's lines, notoriously the brand's weakest link on a historical level, appear to have upped their games somewhat - as evidenced by the above examples taken from their ankle boots collections. In the past, whilst women had a surprisingly large range of styles and trends to choose from, us gentlemen had to look elsewhere for our footwear needs unless we had a burning desire for budget-priced, square-toed black formal slip-ons. Most of the shoes would be appropriate only for the least sartorially ambitious of funeral attendees.

   Thankfully now, whilst retaining the lower level pricing one would associate with Barratts, the brand have added a stylish array of new styles to their stocks. Whilst they may never fully shake the "for school shoes only" stigma many attached to the once mighty high street institution, the cheap rates for their footwear will make them a smart choice for the discerning male shopper looking to add to their wardrobes without breaking the bank. I'd recommend work shoes from here any day of the week.

   Ultimately, the success of the newly relaunched Barratts depends entirely on whether they can keep their overheads low (being an on-line only store, this SHOULD be a given), maintain decent levels of stock (a problem hopefully resolved without the threat of administration continually looming on the horizon), and do a decent job of publicising their relaunch. Emailing their newsletter subscribers is a sensible start, and hopefully we'll see the brand roll out their new marketing (in whatever form it may take) in the upcoming weeks and months.

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