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River Island

Trend-leading River Island has interesting product and ways of displaying it, but it is of mixed value.

Product 7

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.

Experience 7

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.

Value 7

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.

Score 21

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