Trend-leading River Island has interesting product and ways of displaying it, but it is of mixed value.
The colour blocking trend is represented well as are florals, which have been picked up quickly, as expected, by this young fashion retailer. River Island is also early on knee-length boots and has more than 10 different styles in store. Notable men’s styles include a textile and leather-mix deck boot, an update on the popular deck shoe from spring, and a good offer of own-brand sneakers.
Footwear is placed on some interesting antique-effect display tables. Armchairs are positioned somewhat tightly opposite the back wall, making Drapers feel a little claustrophobic. Staff were friendly, however, and did approach after Drapers began trying on. The men’s area has a quirky use of old cinema chairs for seating. There is a lack of pricing stickers on footwear.
Prices are as expected, not value but not premium, and sit in the mid-range £50 to £100.
A basic black faux-suede ankle boot does seem a bit pricey at £65 when Office offers a similar version in real suede at £75. Those that warrant the £60 to £70 price are those with added interest such as a leather ankle boot with hiking details and fringing on a faux-crêpe sole for £75. Men’s sneakers are £45, and a leather utility-style boot is £65. A suede shoe with faux crêpe is excellent value at £55.