Fashion retailer River Island is well-prepared to navigate the new lockdown restrictions and remains confident in its ability to thrive despite the challenges of 2020. The company reported a 10% increase in operating profits for the previous year, reaching £42 million, excluding one-off charges and “onerous leases”. Although turnover remained flat at £880 million, River Island is optimistic about its performance during the upcoming English lockdown.

During the spring lockdown, River Island’s UK stores were closed for 13 weeks, prompting the company to take decisive action, including the removal of 350 senior positions and considering store closures. Moreover, the company engaged in negotiations to secure rent reductions through a company voluntary arrangement.

River Island’s CEO, Will Kernan, acknowledged the impact of store closures but highlighted the effectiveness of the company’s investments in digital channels, which helped mitigate losses. He also emphasized that the retail landscape was already changing before the pandemic, with a noticeable shift away from physical stores.

“Today’s retail environment is drastically different from that of 2019, but even before Covid-19, shopping habits and the role of stores were changing quickly,” said Kernan. “As a result, we had already made important changes to ensure that River Island could hold its own in the face of these challenges.”

River Island currently operates approximately 150 stores globally and recognizes the importance of adapting to changing consumer behaviors. The company’s strong digital presence and focus on meeting customers’ evolving needs position it to thrive in the ever-evolving fashion industry.

For more information, visit:
1. River Island Official Website
2. BBC: River Island Sees Boost in Operating Profits