Rihanna boosts River Island sales

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British retailers are building a global niche in youth fashion, with countries around the world trying to persuade the leading brands to open new stores, according to the boss of River Island.

Ben Lewis, chief executive of River Island, said there is “a lot of support” for British designers overseas, and that investors and international landlords are encourage the country’s retailers to open stores in new markets. Mr Lewis was speaking to The Telegraph as he revealed that a tie-up with poster Rihanna helped to boost sales for River Island last year.

“It is a particular type of fashion,” Mr Lewis said. “It is edgy, it is flirtatious, it is fun, it is eclectic, and it is not formulaic. It plays on the creativity that Britain has, we are not scared of breaking boundaries.

River Island said that sales grew 4pc to £839m in the year to December 28, which saw the retailer collaborating with Rihanna for the Rihanna for River Island collection. The profile of the brand was boosted by the tie-up with Rihanna, which Mr Lewis described as “fantastic”.He insisted that both parties had always agreed that the collaboration would only last for a year.

“We agreed it was right to work together for one year only. It was a collaboration not a merger, he said. “It built a reputation for our brand globally. There are no plans to work again with Rihanna at the moment, there is nothing more to say about working with another designer or celebrity, but we are not ruling it out in the future.”

Excerpt from The Telegraph – read full story here.


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