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River Island

The rumours are true - with its freshest product range for years, River is set for a strong season.

At this level of the market there’s fierce competition, but what River Island has done well this season is hone in on the key products and trends to create tightly edited ranges and well-considered products. Chinos are plentiful and in good if sober tones, while the brand has gone to town with patterned knits, bold chain, ikat and ethnic-print swim shorts and shirts, the season’s key menswear item. Strong stuff - we can see the product mix going down well with customers.

The printed shirts at between £25 and £28 are a no-brainer purchase while River’s £30 chino seems good value. Basic T-shirts at £8 are a bit on the thin side, as are the hoodies, while an interesting waxed Harrington jacket would be money well spent at £40. Denim, coloured or otherwise, is around £35 and is the sort of quality you’d expect at this price point.

Despite the menswear being placed up on the mezzanine, the space feels clean and airy and full of spring stock. As a window sticker flags up, the Sale was still on at the time of Drapers’ visit, but the discounted product was neatly hidden behind a wall of summer knits. The fittings, while not swish, are neat enough, with chinos, denim and printed T-shirts presented on the walls particularly well and creating a strong backdrop. Staff were friendly if a little stand-offish but the changing rooms are lit flatteringly.

View the full report here

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