River Island presented the most colourful offer with bright graphic and foiled T-shirts, checked blousons, bright, colour-blocked, ombré and satin-tipped knitwear in yellow, purple and teal. It is a brave look and extremely youth oriented. The tailoring / checked shirt merchandising is a touch more sober, with heritage textured, slimline grey and navy tailoring with muted checks for a more sophisticated look.
Of all the “men’s-zannine” departments in Westfield (be prepared to climb a lot of stairs if you’re male) this is among the best in terms of offering a wow-factor at the top of shoppers’ ascents. Bare brick walls, purple and textured wallpaper all add to the excitement, as do the store’s oft-used neon signs.
Too much of the youth pitched brightly colour blocked knitwear (which bears a confident roll out of its perched-bird logo a la US brand Modern Amusement) could blind shoppers to the more considered clobber beyond. But this is a big store and footwear, denim (with raw, grey and black styles) and accessories get separate and significant dedicated areas. The usual formula sees the store open on casualwear with tailoring in the far corner.
Sitting somewhere around Topman and higher than New Look, River Island offers the holy trinity of quality, trend and value. This translates into checked shirts at £25, suits from £120, and a trench at £60, which beats plenty of rivals. A leather bomber at £110 comes in well under Gap.