As you walk into the Plymouth branch of Bibi & Mac, you get an overwhelming feeling of exclusivity, laid out like your very own walk in wardrobe, you feel right at home just browsing through the rails, shoes are even placed underneath the clothes to inspire your choices and outfits. Founded in 2006 in Salcombe, Devon they have now branched out to the trendy Royal William Yard area in Plymouth. They stock brands such as Marc Cain, Victoria Beckham, Isabel De Pedro, Scotch and Soda and lots more, selling both mens and womenswear. They have also been featured in several magazines such as Stella, Drapers and are currently #68 in Vogues top 100 boutiques outside London. (http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/favourites-of-vogue/2012/8/shops-outside-of-london/gallery/828189)
The shop is run by husband and wife Jane and Nigel, and the owner Jane was there when I visited, helping customers and chatting to people making them feel welcome, lots of people already seemed to know her and because of this it seemed a bit cliquey in there. The shop sells a lot of fur and leather, high quality products ranging from around £80+ all the products on sale seem to be on trend for the season coming up, very fashion forward. I think a shop like this is very well suited to the Royal William Yard area, where they share a postcode with an artisan bakery, Wagamama, The Martin Bush Gallery, The River Cottage restaurant and several upmarket cocktail bars and restaurants. The owner was wearing clothes that could all be found in the store, as a sort of walking advertisement.
“TO MAKE OUR CUSTOMERS FEEL HAPPY & CONFIDENT IN EVERYTHING THEY BUY FROM US”
Mission statement, BIBI BOUTIQUES
The price range is very much top end high street, even veering towards ready to wear for some garments this is appropriate, however because of the sheer quality of the clothing on offer. The store is filled with neutral colours, so the appearance is very chic and minimalist, even though the store itself is quite full. The customers who were in there when I was looked to be middle age, middle class women with disposable income to hand.
Bibi & Mac stocks everything you need to feign a bit of style, including beautiful hats, coats, gloves, bags, ties and shoes, however when I tried to browse online at bibiandmac.co.uk I got told there was no such website even though it is clearly advertised on their Facebook page. Clearly Bibi & Mac needs more revenue put into advertising and someone needs to set up a website for younger more stylish people to browse through, as nearly everyone I know orders clothes online and can spend hours trawling through the internet looking for brands and blogs to get inspiration, but I think they seem to have their target market spot on and their address is perfect for the people they are trying to encourage to buy.
Royal William Yard
Would I shop there?
In Plymouth, a well known Naval town that is now vastly populated by students and unemployed people, I think there is only a very small market for places like this but it is refreshing to see that it is prospering and surviving and that, if you can afford it, there is an alternative to Drakes Circus. Bibi & Mac is obviously thriving if the owners can afford to run 2 stores and I think that this is a good thing for fashion in the South West.