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River Island Competitive Shop Analysis

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Shennin Pieries

on 28 May 2015

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Transcript of River Island Competitive Shop Analysis

Target Customer
Product Range Analysis
Color Palette:
Price Points
[Based on store visit]
What Makes River Island Different
Visual Merchandising
In terms of Topshops flagship store, which is strategically positioned opposite the oxford circus tube station, customers are exposed to a captivating display of Topshops key models featuring their signature SS15 designs. Instead of solely a glass window to display the mannequins, they incorporated large pictures of their designs as well so that the customer automatically gets a feel of what the clothes would look like on real people as opposed to the ceramic mannequins.
This was also evident in a few of their lower grade stores such as the branch in Westfield Shepherds bush.
River Island Competitive Shop Analysis
Leaders on the High Street
2014: 7% LFL sales
May 2015: Menswear and
Sportswear sales up by 11.7%
2014: LFL sales up 7.3%
online sales up 57.7%
2015: Dept. store sales up 98%
2014: sales up 12% on previous year
2014: Total retail sales jumped 38% to 335.7m
2014: 14% rise in sales to 528m, increased 30% from 2013 figures.
Topshops color palette ranges by collection; their 'festival' and 'summer of love' SS15 consists of soft hues of cream, beige,and shades of brown. Whereas Topshop Unique SS15 constitutes of bright reds and cobalt blues paired with a monochrome base to enhance the colors further.
River Island product color palette
Customer Profile:
Pen Portrait:
Cara Dalton: 23 years old, she wears a size 8 and has recently graduated and received a BA in Fashion Buying. Confident, ambitious and fashion conscious.
She recently started working as an assistant buyer for a high-street brand and earns £21,000 per annum.
She lives in Central London, sharing a studio with her boyfriend who drives, however she occasionally takes public transport.
She listens to Icona pop, David Guetta, Rihanna, etc. and attends music festivals such as Coachella, Wireless, Bestival and Burning man during spring break or Ibiza during the summer, hence she shops the River Island Pacha collection for swimwear or online at ASOS.
She keeps up-to-date on the fashion trends via magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Grazia, Glamour, I.D and online via blogs and WGSN, Drapers, Mintel.
She shops at stores that provide the latest trends yet at an affordable price. Ranging from mid-market to high-street: River Island, Topshop, Zara, Next (especially the Lipsy collection), occasionally at Debenhams and online at ASOS.
Her busy life keeps her on the constant move, yet she makes time to attend the gym daily and Yoga on the weekends.
She is ambitious, independent and headstrong. She enjoys travelling, and nights out with her friends and boyfriend.
She starts her day with a Starbucks latte and prefers Cosmos when she’s with her girls.

Topshop entices customers with their accessories and beauty department. In terms of their flagship store, the first thing the customer is exposed to is the beauty, accessories and jewelery department, along with a cupcake and candy stall on the same floor. These are used strategically in order to entice the customers.
Another key aspect Topshop utilizes is a separate section purely for denim. This allows the customers to find specifically the type of denim they are looking for.
Situational factor: The flagship store on Oxford street has easy access, placed directly opposite the tube station. Accordingly, the Topshop at Westfield is placed close to the entrance on the second floor as well.
What makes the customers want to shop here?
Whereas River Island's SS15 collection constitutes of monochrome as a base as well incorporated to bring out the touches of pastel lemon yellow.
Similarly to Topshop, River Islands color palette varies between collections.
Fashion v Core Mix:
[Figure tabulated based on the flagship store visit.]
Mix of products on the shop floor:
An estimation of:
50% of Garments allocated womenswear in the ground floor.
30% allocated to menswear on the 2nd floor.
20% to Accessories/Beauty
Category example of R.I Product mix
Product Mix
Further Breakdown Comparison
Example of a no. of different style options based on trends
Online Presence
Topshop has a strong online presence. The first thing customers come across of is a promo video of their new summer range, followed by highlights and key pieces, and tabs on where customers can wear these outfits, ending with an outfit builder catering to 'Summer'
Both Westfield and Oxford Circus had favourable strategic locations.
Eye-catching and captivating external Visual Merchandising
Wide range of choices in both stores visited.
Sizes ranged from 6 to 18
Colour palette: catered to SS15 color trends. Produced a variety of Pastels – lavenders and pale pinks, Monochrome and pops of bright colors such as bright yellow, purple, blue and green.
The store in Westfield was divided into sections based on colour, which made it easier for the customers to mix and match outfits, which was a distinct difference from Topshop.
Quite up-to-date on trends, a lot of dresses were 90’s inspired which was an AW14 trend as well as floral's, lace and maxi dresses which are seen on the SS15 runways. – Suited for the time of year
Minimal gaps in store – as opposed to Topshop which had a few obvious gaps: The overall portfolio looked quite AW14, it seemed that they were trying to clear the stock from the previous collection.
POS – 4 cash desk locations which was convenient for customers
Layout: good lighting throughout the store with stimulating VM and mannequins were draped with their latest collections which attracted the customers. Chairs were placed at various points, thus customers could shop with ease and relax. Evidence of cross selling.
Helpful sales associates, had a decent number of them as well.
With emerging technological developments and an online growing market trend, they could invest in the betterment of their online customer experience, especially for those customers who don’t have access to bricks-and-mortar stores. For eg: having a short 30sec video of a model strutting down the catwalk wearing the selected bikini. This tactic is evident in a variety of online retailers such as ASOS, Boohoo, etc.
Possibly have a further development of the sales and service team knowledge on the product (where its manufactured, the % of fabric, how it caters to the trends, etc.) and this would result in a more structured review process to help direct and motivate employees and in turn inform customers on their latest range
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