Laurence Phelan
Saturday 21 August 1999 23:02

WALKING INTO Top Man, the first thing to catch my eye was the special offer on a rail to my left. Any two T-shirts for pounds 20. There were only about six different designs - few enough so I could concentrate on all of them, and enough of a bargain to want to rifle through. Then I spotted the changing rooms, with big outside seating area and lots of space. Very man-friendly.

If I was being led along a carefully designed route, it was cunningly disguised as a random and haphazard one. As I wandered around the tables, my eyes were drawn to the huge video screens showing trendy boy bands which made me feel like this was not a regular (ie painful) shopping experience. When this became boring, I found a section round the corner where the music was muted, smart sales assistants and rows of suits arranged with co-ordinating shirts and ties. Then I spotted a pair of discounted trainers and made a bee-line for them. If they'd had them in my size, I would most certainly have bought them. As it was, I left two T-shirts better off.

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