From humble beginnings as a small East End wool and womenswear outlet, River Island has grown into one of the nation’s biggest clothes retailers, with 250 stores worldwide. The pace of expansion isn’t slacking – the company recently opened a shop at Canary Wharf. River Island says it designs almost everything it sells, ensuring customers get exactly what they expect from the brand. Chief executive Clive Lewis, son of founder and chairman Bernard Lewis, presided over sales of £813m in 2006 from Lewis Trust, the holding company behind River Island.
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