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River Island recruits PR firm

Young fashion retailer River Island has appointed financial PR firm Brunswick, in what is an unprecedented move for the publicity-shy retailer.

It is thought to be the first time that River Island, which is owned by the Lewis family who founded the chain, has recruited a third party to advise it on its PR strategy. Brunswick’s appointment has prompted speculation about the retailer’s long-term plans.

Brunswick also acts as an advisory firm specialising in media relations, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings. Its retail clients include Laura Ashley and LK Bennett.

This week, sources close to River Island dismissed speculation that it was on the acquisition trail or that there were long-term plans to sell the business. “The appointment of Brunswick is simply to handle media attention and introductions to the press,” one source said.

According to accounts lodged at Companies House last week, pre-tax profits at River Island fell 3.6% from £143 million to £137.8m for the year to December 29 2007.

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