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In Pictures: River Island's new River Studios retail concept

Tom Shearsmith
07 September 2022

River Island has opened the doors of its new 11,000 sq ft retail concept, River Studios, at the Derbion shopping centre.

The new store replaced its old branch on Level 2 and is situated next to Mango on the same floor. Visitors are offered a fresh take on River Island’s identity, which presents the all-new River Studios brand mark combined with an elevated visual approach across womenswear, menswear and childrenswear.

Each River Studios store will host a unique curation of exclusive in-house brands, including RI London, In Other Words, Unplanned and Chelsea Girl.

The River Studios concept will be rolled out to River Island stores in Rushden Lakes, Blackpool, Luton and Thurrock in the following weeks. The company describes the elevations as "part of River Island’s ambitious plans to reinvigorate retail".

Will Kernan, CEO of River Island, said: “This is an exciting step for River Island as a business, and marks the next stage of our continuing journey to elevate the River Island experience for our customers. Retail is at its best when it is evolving and adapting to best suit the needs of shoppers, and we are no different. River Studios delivers a modern, seamless experience fit for the high street of today.”

The physical space enhances the customer journey with significant new technological innovation. Smart fitting rooms help identify and display products that customers bring in to try, allowing them to request more sizes, choose alternative products and request assistance from one of the in-store stylists - without leaving the fitting room.

RFID-driven endless aisle technology also promotes a seamless omni-channel experience, giving the customer the opportunity to order from the online stock holding in-store.

An additional AI styling tool named “Chloe” sits on the shop floor, offering customers style advice in exchange for answering a few simple questions.

The River Studios in-store team are supported by enhanced digital service tools. This includes a Digital Click and Collect point to improve efficiency for customers to receive their orders faster. Staff will take on the role of stylists, allowing time to focus more on providing a real-time, personal level of customer service.

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