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River Island, 213 Oxford Street

This store isn’t up to River Island’s usual standard, but still delights in the trend stakes

Product 7½

River Island has set the bar so high over past seasons that expectations are huge. There are some winners such as a great pair of tribal flat sandals with leather fringing, gems and peacock feathers and peep-toe cutaway grey suede courts. However, other styles are uninspired. Cage construction high heels are an essential part of any trend-led offer this season and River Island should deliver these with aplomb, but its interpretations are quite basic.

Experience 5½

It’s a real shame that the footwear area is at the back of this store and almost out of sight. The shop has recently been redesigned but the footwear area seems a bit too small and undefined. Staff are knowledgeable and know prices off the top of their heads though. The radio system between shopfloor and stockroom means service is quick and painless.

Value 8

River Island teaches other retailers a thing or two when it comes to delivering trend-led product at great prices - with an added point of difference. Take the £70 peppermint suede platform - this is the price of an average Faith platform and much cheaper than the average Aldo fashion shoe, but River Island bolts on great trim detail, tasseling and panelling.

Score 21

‘I really do like River Island but it can be a bit too expensive at times’
Shani Lawson, student, 16

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