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Hit or miss: River Island - 4/10

  • 207-213 Oxford Street

RIVER ISLAND AW14

Pros

The front of the store is a head-turner, with a wide open space featuring fun installations of mannequins coming through doors mounted on plinths. It looks like a premium boutique and shows off the product well, without overcrowding. The obvious division between a smarter and more casual side to the shop makes browsing straightforward. Items such as T-shirts and jackets or blazers and blouses are hung together, forming obvious looks.

Cons

Towards the back of the store, rails are a lot more crowded. Surprisingly for River Island, there aren’t many standout pieces unique to the store. Although trends such as fake shearling coats and 1970s bohemian blouses and dresses are present, they don’t offer a point of difference. Quality also disappoints, as some items, such as a polyester blouse for £30, had loose threads, while printed T-shirts for £17 are as thin as Primark’s £6 versions. A lot of dresses are bodycon and the heavy presence of crop tops suggests the offer would alienate customers over 25. Despite a large queue at the tills, only one member of staff was on hand and the changing rooms were unmanned.

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