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River Island adds maternitywear

Young fashion multiple River Island is gunning for a slice of the £139m maternitywear market with the launch of a range for fashion-hungry expectant mothers later this month.

River Island will launch a 79-piece collection called River Island Maternity in 16 stores and online. Prices will range from £19.99 to £74.99 and the collection will feature printed T-shirts, knitwear, jeans and outerwear, alongside sequin trousers and wet-look leggings with elasticated panels.

River Island follows high street rivals Topshop and New Look in launching a range for mums-to-be, as high street retailers look to capitalise on demand for fashion-forward maternitywear.

Katrin Magnussen, senior fashion analyst at research group Mintel, said the maternity market had shrunk from £142m in 2008, but that this was a short-term contraction and sales were likely to pick up significantly post-recession.

River Island has 273 stores.

l Etailer Figleaves added babywear to its kidswear offer this month. Babywear brands stocked include Bob & Blossom, Oh Baby London and Bonnie Baby.

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