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Exclusive: River Island to launch new brand

River Island is launching a new womenswear brand next spring, Drapers understands. 

It is believed the brand will target women aged 40 and above, and will feature classic, staple pieces at an affordable price point.

One source said: “It will be like AllSaints or Sandro, but more accessible [in terms of price]. That customer doesn’t know where to go on the high street – no one is catering for her.”

Fiona Lambert

Fiona Lambert

It is believed that Fiona Lambert, managing director of new business development at River Island, is spearheading the project.

A source close to the company added: “Fiona was hired to look at new niches not currently served by River Island, and there’s a lot to go after, particularly in such a fast changing environment. As I understand it they’re in the development phase at the moment; there are a lot of new ideas on the table.”

Lambert joined River Island earlier this year from home furnishing retailer Dunelm, where she was product director. She was previously Asda’s vice-president of own-label development.

River Island launched its first homeware range in autumn 18.

In its most recent results, River Island’s operating profit for the year to 30 December 2017 fell by 40% to £80.6m as it invested in its digital capabilities amid a “challenging backdrop for retail”. Turnover fell 2.3% year on year to £944.5m.

River Island declined to comment.

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