Comp Shopping

A comp shop is where a designer for one brand does a shopping trip to competitors shops. The hope is that by watching the competition we can keep track of what others are doing and make sure we are on trend with fashion.

I decided to do my own comp shop, looking at something I am interested in, accessories. I chose to compare a simple knitted scarf and visited six stores in Leeds.


Somehow I can’t get the full chart on here so I’ll tell you the shops and add photos below.

Mark & Spencers – had these scarfs in one section, but a huge range of scarves elsewhere.


Dorothy Perkins – a lot of fair isle with eyelash yarn added as an accent to the pattern.


Oasis had an excellent display of mainly plain knit, but with metallic threads added.


Coast – Didn’t find any scarfs on display

Top Shop – I saw lots of matching hats, but Top Shop was one of the few places where I saw matching gloves as well.


River Island – bit disappointing as the photo probably shows.


So if I was a commercial designer and had a brief to make a scarf collection I could take the information and come up with something that would compete with what I’ve seen.

What I noticed from the comp shop was lots of Mobius or wrap scarves, chunky knitted, but not necessarily in chunky wool, mohair effect and cable knitted.

I actually enjoyed that much more than I expected to and more than cushion shopping, but then I was looking at something I am interested in.

Published by bettyvirago

Betty Virago is an award winning textile designer. Based in Yorkshire, England, and known for her Northern Folk dolls and the Quilts of Hope project.

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