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Drapers Top 100 2016 – 17. Ben Lewis, chief executive, River Island

Ben lewis, ceo, river island

Ben lewis, ceo, river island

Ben Lewis, nephew of River Island founder Bernard Lewis, has worked in the family business for the best part of two decades, and in recent years has transformed it into a truly multichannel retailer. This year, he confirmed his commitment to developing new technologies by investing in a new tech hub in Shoreditch, east London.

The company, which operates more than 350 stores worldwide, has increased click-and-collect sales by nearly 40% in the last year, while mobile sales have grown by 30%. In February, Lewis poached Adrian Arbuthnot back from Indian fashion etailer Koovs to fill the newly created head of menswear role, as part of plans to expand the category and grow market share in the face of increasing competition. Overall, River Island’s sales and profits remain stable, and Lewis’s position in the top 100 does, too.

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