Ah, sorry. I have been remiss in my blogging again. This time my measly excuse is my bad back; I've got some issues with sciatica. Which might not appear to affect blogging, but when you consider the extra half hour it takes to do anything when you walk like a tortoise, add the inability to wear nice shoes and the fact I have to keep warm and stay indoors... you end up with nothing to blog. Bah.
Anyway, I did indeed venture out at the weekend and had a snoop at the new Greenford TK Maxx store. As an avid bargain hunter and reader of Fashion Pearls Of Wisdom I have always rated TK Maxx because you can find properly made, quality items at the same price as the high street. In fact, bar some favourite shops (such as River Island) I would say I prefer it to the high street.
One major issue, however, is the cramped and messy layout of many of the stores. Often squashed into the less expensive malls and arcades, some branches of TK Maxx resemble the last day of the sales week in, week out. Therefore, I was most intrigued to hear of a new branch opening in the Westway Cross centre in Greenford; Westway Cross is one of those non-town-centre shopping 'parks' - consisting of about ten larger stores such as HobbyCraft, Outfit and Next with parking and food outlets. I used to live near it, and while away hung over Sundays with junk food and browsing of hobby materials which I patently did not need.
With the space available, I hoped the branch would be easier to navigate than usual. Unfortunately my navigation issues started on arrival! The car park was appallingly cluttered due to building work on a new Macdonalds; whoever decided to have opening weekend at the same time hadn't accounted for all the cars! Luckily I managed to find a space eventually. Then I went to Costas (yeah, I know, this is why I get nothing done, back or no back!). Then I went to TK Maxx. On the way I passed a fashion blogger model type lady, so I knew I was on the right track (no, seriously, no mistaking her for a blogger-model-lady, you don't normally get six foot blondes with pearlised white sequin mini dresses, bootee wedges and seeeerious DSLR kits checking light readings in Greenford car parks).
Anyway, on to the store. As expected, much lighter, bigger and better ordered than older branches. Particularly strong Mod Box (young hip people stuff), handbags (I bought a Paul Costelloe leather bag for £39, RRP £110) and hats. I wasted some time trying on the hats. Obvs. Knitwear was also a good one - I picked up a Garani Strok angora cardigan with a nice retro knit for £29, RRP £150. There is also an upstairs, with an extensive menswear department and some fantastic furniture and homeware.
Disappointingly I couldn't find their Gold Label section- this is where the real designer bargains can be found and some larger stores have a department. Mind you, I am not sure there's that much call for Dolce & Gabbana in UB6. Also, at the other end of the scale... pants. Their underwear department is exactly that. Now I know it isn't the 'oooh look new store opening' crowd puller that handbags are, but I would estimate that well over half my friends buy their CK knickers, Triumph bras and Spanx pants in TK Maxx. They're missing a trick!
Greenford TK Maxx is accessible by road (Rockware Ave, off the A40) or is an easy walk from Greenford tube station. All opinions are my own, as ever!