By Aimee Smith, Nicole Whitelaw and Heather McLachlan
The company was set up in 1948 by Bernard Lewis, operating from a small shop in London trading as Lewis Separates.
However, it has since gone through several name changes (Chelsea Girl, Concept Man) before becoming River Island in 1989.
The group is a family concern, led by entrepreneur and Chairman Bernard Lewis. Even at the age 82, he is involved in the day-to-day running of the company, working not only through the week but also at weekends to keep the store group in a strong retail position.
Aimed at 15-30 year olds to provide them with affordable but stylish clothes.
Designed by in house designers.
River island’s huge Franchise operation is all owned and managed by Bernard Lewis – the entrepreneur who started the company.
There are then managers below him who run their own individual store.
River Island is a well known nationwide brand. Worth close to £1bn, the family - headed by Bernard Lewis - is one of the UK's richest, having turned River Island into an international success story.
There are over 250 shops in 13 countries – including the UK, singapore, Russia, Poland, Spain and America - and £700m in sales.
River Island is one of Europe's largest employers of fashion designers.
There are approximately 8000 employees working for the company.
The company offers a competitive salary – somewhere between £22,000-£42,000 – an attractive range of benefits and opportunties to progress.
River Island reported increased profits of £160.9m, up from £152.8m the year before. ( 2008)
The period to 30/12/2006 saw a significant increase in Annualised Sales from £584,139,000 to £670,538,000.
The resultant Profit Margin of 23.35% (previous = 23.32%) compares favourably with the industry average of 0.44%.
Shareholders Funds increased from £159,856,000 to £237,919,000.
River Island use a number of methods to attract customers including:
Website, available to order clothes online and with home delivery,
Reasonably priced and in fashion,
Stores are worldwide and easy to get to.
Aimed for teenagers and working adults who like the ease of online shopping. The website is well designed, with attractive colours and appealing pictures.
Lack of models’ pictures to carry out the best qualities of the clothing. No ‘view all’ option to allow for a quick browse.