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River Island looks to open first US store with ‘long term’ expansion plan


River Island looks to open first US store with ‘long term’ expansion plan
// River Island is set to cross the pond as it launches long-term US expansion plan
// CEO Will Kernan said the retailer will look to “understand the market” more before putting down roots in the country

River Island is preparing to open its first store in the US after online sales have surged in the US, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The fashion retailer sees the US as “a major growth opportunity,” said chief executive Will Kernan who added that online demand has soared in states including California, New York, Texas and Florida.

Kernan told This Is Money: “Even though the brand is not well known in certain parts of the US, what’s interesting is that the product is resonating strongly.”

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The boss described the plan as “long-term” and said the business would seek to “understand the market” more before launching a physical store.

River Island began a business ‘reset’ in 2019, which included reducing the time it takes to get newly designed products into shops and the retailer is also set to open River Studios – a new format store in Derby later this month, featuring “an elevated visual approach” and “a fresh take on River Island’s identity”.

The business swung back into the black in 2021 posting an operating profit of £73.5m in 2021 from a loss of £36.2million in the previous year.

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