News that Danish fashion chains Vero Moda and Jack & Jones are to open a dual fascia shop on Oxford Street should be greeted as good news by shoppers in search of variety on one of the UK’s leading commercial thoroughfares. Yet it is hard not to stifle a mild yawn.

News that Danish fashion chains Vero Moda and Jack & Jones are to open a dual fascia shop on Oxford Street should be greeted as good news by shoppers in search of variety on one of the UK’s leading commercial thoroughfares. Yet it is hard not to stifle a mild yawn.

This may be a three-floor 8,500 sq ft store, but for anyone familiar with either of these brands, it is likely to do little to divert attention from rival offers on the street.

Visiting Aberdeen’s Union Square shopping centre last week brought this into focus.

Vero Moda had opted to take space in the scheme and there was absolutely nothing to object to about the result. Why therefore were there no shoppers inspecting what was on offer.

The plain fact is that although all the fixturing was of merchantable quality, the store design was presentable and the stock was perfectly reasonable, the net effect was, well, a little dull. Oh, and like Oxford Street this was a dual fascia site, twice the pulling power one might therefore imagine.

Union Square picked up the gong for Shopping Location of the Year at last week’s Oracle Retail Week Awards, so you might think there was quite a lot that is worth looking at in the centre.

This is indeed the case and Aberdonians were out in force on one of those rare days of late when there was no snow on the ground in the Granite City. The only problem was they were, apparently, not wowed by the blandishments of the joint Vero Moda / Jack & Jones offer.

One other point might be taken into consideration Vero Moda and Jack & Jones are to be found en masse in shopping centres in Germany, where they look almost exactly the same as those in the UK.

They are generally well patronised and seem to have appeal for shoppers in that country. The problem is that that is Germany and this is the UK — and the two are not necessarily coterminous when it comes to the way that retail display and stores design are carried out.

Perhaps Bestseller, the parent company of Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and sundry other retail fascias, might do worse than to take a walk along the street to take a look at fellow Scandinavian retailer Bik Bok.

There has been a Bik Bok store on Oxford Street for a couple of years now, but UK expansion has signally failed to materialise. Perhaps this has something to do with its Scandi-bland personality. Bestseller should think hard about the face it seeks to present on Oxford Street.