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Hit or miss: River Island - 23/30

The best store in The Harlequin centre has key trends and River Island’s unique handwriting

  • Upper Mall, The Harlequin

Product - 7

In true River Island style, key trends are mixed with the distinct handwriting of the retailer. So, hi-lo hems, plenty of leather (in jackets, skirts and tops), lace and a heavy nod to opulence with brocade and jacquard prints mingle with standout pieces including a patriotic, tartan story, a paper-thin faux-leather jacket with huge, flapping lapels and Chanel-inspired, bouclé-like jackets. A decent denim offer and basics range supports the trend stories.

Value - 7

The pricing architecture is wide here, allowing River’s cash-strapped young fashion shoppers to cherry pick from the collection. A sexy embroidered brocade dress with mesh panels is only £18 while peplum tops are affordable at £26 and tweed-print tube skirts are only £15. The price justifiably creeps up to £45 for a beautiful hi-lo purple floral-print skirt with lace panelling, while the flapping-lapels leather jacket is £65. The most expensive item I noticed was a lovely parka with soft, fluffy collar at £95.

Experience - 9

In terms of presence and store design, River Island ranks top of the shops in Watford. A huge neon sign above the door means that you can’t miss the attractive white and blue brick-design exterior. In addition, this was the only store of all 15 surveyed where I was offered assistance. In typical River Island segmentation, trend-led stories welcome in shoppers, while more category-led items are towards the back. The store was well-stocked.

23/30

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