Esprit is a global network, spanning five continents and 43 countries.
With the brand's growth and reach, I was expecting something amazing and was hoping to discover the reasons behind its success.
Having peered through the big glass shop-front, I entered the store, neatly side-stepping a lime-green Perspex phallus hanging from the ceiling (why?). Suddenly, the reasons for the company's phenomenal growth became clear. It is all about price and stock - lots of it. However, this makes it impossible for the consumer to see or appreciate the showcase of textures and type on the walls and the tiny pots of flowers dotted around.
Any design details, apart from the aforementioned phallus, are lost in a cramped space, heaving with winterwear - perfect for that dry slope in Milton Keynes. True democracy indeed.
The shop seems to be trying to adhere to some retail design principles. However, these attempts are at odds with its clothing ranges and the mentality of high-street selling - the area in which Esprit now appears to be competing.