* Prices may differ from that shown
I love a good River Island sale - it's the best! I love the store it's always bright and tidy and the staff are so helpful. My recent bargain was a handbag which I had wanted for ages - I went into the shop and they had 1 left! Phew it was £45 - I was disappointed to find the long strap was missing as I always use this rather than the small handle. The manager was so polite and helpful and took £15 off for me I was over the moon! Anyhow I like River Island as they are bang on date with the latest trend.. not that I can buy everything as some things are too pricey for me but I do buy the odd thing every now and then. The quality of the clothing is great and never disappoints. They also have a website which is always up to date and the online sale always comes first.
Reading the experiences of the River Island inmates, a debilitating familiarity washed over me as if I was trying on one of their fabulously stylish acrylic/nylon "knitwear" monstrosities; for I personally am still living that nightmare.
A full seven months into my sentence now at one of the big West End flagships, it occurred to me some time ago that the last time anybody worked this hard they were building the pyramids. Staff are over-worked, stressed-out and exhausted, company expectations are unrealistically high and all of this nonsense conducted under the full glare of a ridiculously corporate head office who don't seem to understand the pressure and misery their procedures and expectancies are having on their employees. Talking of staff, they're mostly students in their late teens/early twenties paying their way through university with no sense of responsibility, dedication, commitment or even interest - mainly because this isn't their long-term career and they're treated badly. Living on a diet consisting mainly of McDonalds, Subway and those wretched energy drinks, they've absolutely no stamina and I'm having to contend with lightweights calling in sick every day because they just can't be arsed.
Find yourself on the receiving end of a late shift (1pm - 10pm) and you'll never leave on time, plus I'm having to deal with an unsympathetic, ungrateful, unhelpful, unapproachable and thoroughly disinterested trio of senior managers who, for the most part, treat the workforce with utter contempt to compound matters further.
There's far more I could say but you get the general idea. Every shift feels like I'm starring in Full Metal Jacket and the job feels more like a punishment for something I did in a past life; if anybody finds out what that was you be sure and let me the hell know - all I can surmise is that I must've killed people, lots of them. I've had a long and varied professional career, mostly a creative one in the media, and I can honestly say this is the worst job I've ever had, just truly hideous. I've never been worked so hard, had so much expected of me, been undermined so constantly, felt so knackered, worked in a climate of crushing negativity with no encouragement whatsoever, had my abundant confidence completely obliterated and been driven so absolutely mad in all my life.
I'd gleefully quit now, but I've a mortgage to pay so heed the warning; even if it's a choice between working or living in a cardboard box under a railway bridge soaked in your own piss and referring to the rats only as "my friends," DON'T WORK FOR RIVER ISLAND, E V E R.
I do most of my shopping in store as I like to be able to try clothes on and see them up close before I make a purchase. I enjoy being in the River Island stores, the decoration is very nice, the layout is good and the music is good. Furthermore, the staff are great, very polite and always happy to help.
The clothes are stylish and fashionable resulting in people often giving compliments about the clothes I am wearing. They also have a good fit and have a large range of different sizes. There is a large range of styles within the store, ranging from brilliant formal suits to casual t-shirts and trousers. There really is something for everyone.
Online, the website is a pretty good layout and it is easy to filter down your search to find exactly what you are after.
The main downside I have about River Island is the quality of their clothes. While the quality of their clothes is okay, I wouldn't expect to get anything more than a year or two of decent wear out of them. Now for a lot of people who change their clothes regularly, this isn't a problem but for me, I like to get a few years out of my clothes and quite often, clothing from River Island struggles to do this. I've also noticed their shoes are less durable than other brands.
As a customer I have always found the staff at the different River Island stores I have visited to be very nice/approachable and will go out of their way to help me by finding different sizes or an alternative I f they haven't got my size in a particular item. This is one of my favourite shops as the style of clothing they sell is very much to my taste. They sell a lot of items at very reasonable and affordable prices .Some of the items can be a bit more expensive but I find them to be good quality and worth the extra few pounds. I have also shopped online with this company and I received my order within two days and had no problem when I took one item back to the shop for a refund as I did not really like it. On the whole I only have good things to say about this company.
I only worked at River Island (Bangor, North Wales) as a temp. Thank god I don't work there anymore, for the sake of my health if anything else. I was insulted in front of employees, spoken to like dirt, shouted at and worked to the bone for next to nothing. There was always a very bitchy attitude about the store and your best never seemed to be good enough. The department managers were the worst to work with as you could expect to be bullied if didn't do exactly what they told you. You'll be lucky if you're given a break and if you're late by a few minutes, you'll be ridiculed in front of the team on a brief as punishment. It's almost as if the management (mainly dept. managers) are so unhappy and so dissatisfied that they take it out on their employees. The wage is very poor and really not worth the misery of working there.
I would like to add that I'm a very hard worker with excellent work ethic and I have never been treated like this before in my life. It's really not worth it.
I only recently started shopping at River Island because they have a sale on at the moment and I managed to pick up a bargian (and psychedelic blazer for a tenner!) so I think this will be a regular shop for me now!
My local River Island is quite small, but well lit and has a nice ambience. However it is quite cramped and you have to squeeze past quite a few people and sales racks, but I don't think this is the case in large River Island stores.
The price range for garments is quite broad, I would say between the value of New Look and Topshop, so I wouldn't pay full price for anything, but I would highly recommend going in the sales, as you can snap up some real bargains between a tenner and twenty five pounds.
The staff are OK, but not as friendly as staff in my other favourite shops. For example, they seem a bit reluctant to do their job and a bit cold but I've read some of the other reviews on working at River Island and if they're true then I'm not surprised!
Overall River Island is a lovely shop, a bit much but I always shop in the sales anyway!
If it even crosses your mind to apply for River Island, don't. Especially if your considering the westfield, london branch. Just handed in my notice so I can finally reveal the truth behind the store. I had been there 6 months and 6 months too long if you ask me. If I hadn't just bought a car I would have left after two weeks.
Firstly, I'll start with the managers. Blondie or 'the bum' has a complete lack of people skills. She is completely disrespectful and tries to demean employees at every opportunity. Then wonders why there is not any motivation among employees to come to work. I literally dreaded each shift. Having worked for other retailers I know that when there is mutual respect everyone works harder but she can't quite grasp that.
Then there is another, i'll call her 'bob' who openly bitches about her non faves on the shop floor. How someones weight is relevant to the job, i am not sure. She also reduced another to tears because she was in a a bad mood. As I see it, its pure victimisation but she is allowed to get away with it.
Then some coworkers are very cliquey. If you don't fit in then expect a lot of school playground tactics of whispering in corners, exclusion and the spreading of rumours. The leader of the gang 'Rihanna' has her followers like 'Zoey' who will do literally anything to remain 'friends' with the leader. It is actually both sad and entertaining to watch at the best of times.
My advice is that River Island is a negative working environment and your better off at other retailers. You don't even get paid a good wage in return for putting up with the prancing manager who doesn't know what he is doing most of the time and the others. BE WARNED!
I thought I would write up a quick review about my time so far working for River Island as I've seen so many negative ones on here.
I've been working at a large London store for around 1 1/2 - 2 months now, and before I applied I actually read the reviews on this site which made me somewhat apprehensive about applying. I joined as I wanted to work within visual merchandising and found that working your way up was the best route.
When I applied, I was expecting a standard sales assistant role (cash desk). However, I mentioned from the start I was interested in VM and the managers kindly put me within the product department which has more to do with merchandising as you get to know the products, place them around the store etc. I felt this was a really nice thing for them to do, as it was effectively helping me toward my career goal.
Since working at the store, I have found the managers and staff alike very welcoming and friendly. I had a few negative comments from other staff regarding some of the managers when I first started, but have completely failed to see any of these reported behaviours. I believe it's because many of the staff are fairly young (16/17) and River Island is their first job, so they're not fully aware of a working environment and what is expected of them. I'm only 21, but have worked in a few offices with many 'colourful' office characters and can honestly say that the way you're treated at RI is fair and with a lot of leniency.
My product and commercial managers (one in particular) have really been teaching me a lot about what they do, realising that I'm actually there for a career within retail rather than seeing it as a filler job (I left a well paid job in marketing to join RI). They couldn't be more helpful, and after a month and a half I'm already talking about taking a product managers position. From there, I can decide whether I want to continue to VM, or even stay on the management/business side of things.
To sum it up, I'm having a great time working for River Island and get on well with the managers (okay, operations can be a bit grumpy but I suppose it's dark in there). The experience is what you make of it. Even if it's not a long term career choice, I would suggest working hard and having a positive attitude as those are key to actually enjoying your job.
I would suggest to anyone thinking of applying to not be put off by previous employees reviews. I can't vouch for their stores, but mine is great. Plus, people generally only write their negative experiences online and don't usually bother with the positive.
AWFUL PLACE TO WORK. SLAVE LABOUR. AWFUL MANAGEMENT.
I am an 18 year old guy, and LOVE river island clothes. I thought working there would be a dream!! How wrong was I...
For me, the worst thing about working there was the managers. I found them so disrespectful, bitchy, unprofessional, unorganised and just horrible people. You are never praised, only ever told what you did wrong. It's bad management as it just makes the employees so demotivated!!!!!! I know that whatever i do it will be wrong and ill get shouted at, so i have given up trying! At the end of the day i was paid 6.08 an hour as a sales assistant and the amount of abuse i took from management, and the amount of responsibilities that were given to me which i had never been trained for was ridiculous.
I worked in operations there for a while where you handle all the stock etc and to this day i still don't understand what my responsibilities were. We were told something different everyday. Also we would be told either, 'you can go early now' when i didn't want to as i wouldn't be paid, or we'd be made to stay longer and not even get payed for it!! I am not talking stay an extra 15 minutes, i am talking stay for an extra 4 hours without a break!!! At times i'd be on delivery, and there would literally be 2 people trying to process a 1000 unit delivery within a 4 hour shift. You were just left to do it with no help and were expected to complete it within that time, when it was near enough impossible. Not only that but we were told 'you need to get it done within 3 hours' so we'd rush to try and complete it then through rushing, not everything like the stock room is neat, so we get shouted at for that, but when we take more time to make sure everything is neat and tidy we get shouted at!!!!
I also found the managers were so bitchy, and look down on you. I think it is disgraceful the way i was treated. I was literally talked to like a 4 year old at school. I actually use to get upset over how i was treated which is not like me at all!! I found it also impossible ever to talk to managers. For example, my pay was wrong nearly everytime i got paid, so i had to talk to the manager about it, and after every time trying to talk to her about it, i just felt like shit as she just looked at me in disgust as if 'why are you talking to me'.
My advice.. Don't work there it is not worth it. Working there was the worst time of my life. I couldn't stand each day i went in. SERIOUSLY... i thought it would be amazing as i loved the clothes there and always shopped there but working there has even put me off shopping there ever again. I kind of hope a river island manager reads this them selves so they can think them selves what they are putting there staff through and maybe change there ways.
Why do I love this shop? Well...
Their stores are always clean, tidy and well presented. The clothing is distributed well on the shelves and it's easy to find the size and style that you require. The clothing is of VERY good quality and there really is something for everyone. RI focus on new styles, upcoming trends and classic clothing styles. You can always find a member of staff on the shop floor to assist you with any enquiries and/ or questions that you may have. I always find their staff to be pleasant, helpful and approachable. I never feel intimidated asking them where something is or if they have something in a different size.
I don't have to queue for long to purchase my items and their checkout operators are always friendly and cheerful. I have had to return something before as it was a little too small for me. I find their returns policy to be fair and square. I never had any problems getting a refund back onto my debit card. You can pay via debit or credit card in their store, aswell as cash of course. They don't accept cheques though. You can also buy online via the RI website (www.riverisland.com).
They also have a wide range of accessories, i.e hats and scarfs. They change their range to adapt to the seasons. They do have the odd seasonal sale which is worth looking out for.
One of my favourite shops ever.
River Island is an amazing shop! I love everything they sell, it's very stylish, and there website is amazing! The only downside is, on the highstreet, some of their products are quite expensive, although when theres a sale it is well priced. In the stores, workers are very kind and pleasant. Also, the delivery online is quite good. They have a very well known name and all of my friends love to shop there. They are always updating there stock so they have what is in at the moment. There stock of jewellery, bags and shoes is exceptional, It is all of great quality and reasonably priced, i believe, if your looking for a white vest for example, you could go to primark and get one for £2 and it be mishaped and discolored after a few weeks, or go to River Island and get the same thing for £5 and it last for months, maybe even more
This is a shop that I have visited on numerous occasions and love some of their clothing as its really fashionable and often a lot of their clothing and accessories look like a cheaper alternative to designer branded clothing.
The shop offers men's, women's and kids clothes as well as having a website. They have stores across the UK in major towns and cities with some being classes as mega stores which are larger than normal.
Moving onto their clothing it is always the latest trends at a fairly reasonable price although they are more expensive than other high street stores. They do make up for it in quality though as I believe they offer good quality clothing. One disadvantage could be the fact they do not offer student discount like some of their rivals which is a great shame as it would be very useful here. There sizes are generally I find quite small compared to other stores as I have bought garments from here in the past and had to go up a size.
I have also bought clothes from here for my boyfriend and he has really liked them as they seem to have a great selection of men's wear. Moving onto their website they have a well laid out site which is easy to navigate and is frequently updated as River Island change their clothing regularly to keep their offering fresh.
Their customer service has always seem to have been good as when in the changing the staff will generally help you find your right size or style or offer helpful advice. I have on many a time asked if they have my size and they have always checked rather than said like others do that they have what's out which is very frustrating. They also have good large changing rooms but I have noticed they always seem far too hot which is annoying when you're getting changed and you just want to get out.
There is an up to date review available on Ciao of River Island under the same username.
Thanks for reading.
The house hold name of 'River Island' has only been in circulation since 1988, so a new high street store? No, it has undergone numerous name changes including 'Chelsea Girl' which can be seen on some of the items instore. River Island started up as 'Lewis Seperates' in London town centre in 1948 so it has actually been trading for 63 years and I think this shows if you visit one of the stores which are located all over Europe and even further afield such as Turkey and the Middle East.
As previously stated there are River Island stores located in many different regions and I have frequented the fashion store in many towns and also many big cities. The stores I have visited have all been more or less the same: large, airy and bright. The rails and displays tend to be widely spread out and always neat even when there is a sale! The stores have also had 3 or more tills which is of paramount importance to customer service. The stores do tend to be larger than other retailers as they house men and women's fashion and accessories, a boys and girls range and also a new maternity range.
In the past I have found River Island fashion for women to be all fluorescent and glittery but this has drastically changed in the past 4-5 years and they now churn out highly fashionable, cat-walk inspired pieces at reasonable prices. They stock all kinds of garments from beach wear to the latest maxi skirts and for men anything from beanie hats to plimsoll pumps.
A great advantage is the availability of sizes available across the whole range of River Island fashion. The sizes come in 6-18 in ladies fashion wear and shoe sizes 3-9, for men their fashion sizes range from XXS to XXL and their shoe sizes range from 6-13, so as you can see they cater for a range of different shapes and sizes, despite this I have often found that their sizes are on the small side so I would recommend trying garments on in store or taking direct measurements from their website and making sure they are the right fit.
The men and women's fashion range is one of the best on the high street, I find. They also stock the latest fashion items and have also introduced the Graduate fashion week, the concept behind this is to encourage fashion design students and inject new creativity into the River Island range.
The girls and boys range is a spin-off of River Island aimed at small children aged 3-10 years, I have no previous experience with purchasing from this range but just by clicking through the website I can deduce that they sell really fashionable clothes for children which is rare but I think the prices are a little steep given that children easily ruin clothing with stains or rips, but these garments would be suitable for parties and one off occasions.
The price range for men and women's products tend to vary greatly depending upon what you are looking for. Simply tees and vests are widely available for around £15-20 and they wash really well and are very versatile however some men and women's shoes retail for around £70-£80. Overall, I think the prices are reasonable for the quality and fashion that you receive.
I have always found the customer service to be standard, there is hardly any staff on the shop floor and if there is they are busy stacking shelves and tidying up the shop floor rather than helping their customers so it can be pretty hard to find a sales assistant to actually assist you but I've always found the till staff to be friendly and efficient.
River Island offers a wide range of clothing for all shapes and sizes (even if you have a growing baby bump!) and any ages, they are highly fashionable and their stores and website are professional are easy to navigate around. I would recommend this to my friends and family, however, they have already cottoned on to the River Island craze so unfortunately I have nobody to recommend it to!
If this stops just one person working for RI then I will be happy.
This is without a doubt, the worst place I have ever worked in my life and I've been spat at, bottled and had glass thrown at me across busy pubs/bars before now.
The problem is not the actual 'job' ie. what you're expected to do in your working hours. The problems isn't the other staff- believe me, in that place, all you have is each other and you stick together as much as possible. The problem is the sheer awfulness and incapability of the management.
Firstly, you are treated, from day One, as a criminal. Everyday, you have to submit to a mandatory bag check on your way into and out of the store, this involves removing ALL outside clothing eg. coat, scarf, hat, gloves, jumper etc. You MUST open your bag(s) for a MANAGER to look into before you even think about going upstairs...what they don't tell you is that all the managers are a) busy doing something and will probably bite off your head when approached or b) off the floor in a nice heated office doing something completely useless and irrelevant. God forbid your mobile phone is on...you get a lecture about stealing and using the phone to pass on information (?) to outside parties. If you want to make a call/text, you have to go outside the store, switch on the phone, do whatever, switch it off and then come back in...oh and don't forget, you have to be 'checked in' by a manager.
Now, to actually MAKE a call, you'd have to be on your break. Which you don't get if you work less than 5 hours. Nothing, not even a toilet stop, a sip of water, a sit down, ZIP. At five hours (which is what I do) you get fifteen minutes...I am not joking. I work 12-5 every day and my fifteen minutes to me is golden. You don't know when you're going to be 'told' to go on your break but believe me, if you only have fifteen minutes to gulp down some food, water and use the bathroom, you're not going to waste it on a phone call.
On to the timing of breaks...you go by the managers watch. Which you aren't wearing. So you have NO idea. I was once told 'it's 3.20 now, go on your break' and I was still serving. I served the customer, left the floor, ate my lunch and was halfway through when the manager barged into the staff room and asked why I wasn't back down as it was 3.35. I kid you not. I said that I hadn't left the floor right away as I was serving to which she said it was my fault and to leave my lunch and come back. Now if I'd have run off the floor in the middle of helping the customer, she'd have murdered me.
Also, say like me you work a 12-5 shift. There's no telling when your break will arrive...sometimes not at all. I have been in ten minutes and been told to go on my break then go over four hours without anything (bear in mind I eat my breakfast at 10am) conversely, I've gone an entire day until 4.40 without anything, then I am told to go on my break. Oh, god forbid I go home five minutes early though...you have to come down, work for the remaining time, then leave. It's THAT petty. But if you stay extra (most people end up stuck doing this because customers are so demanding they don't actually consider you might want to go home to bed or to have some dinner rather than serving them with their huge pile of clothing and refunds and tiny little niggles and fusses) you aren't paid any extra. No chance.
Thirdly we have the lovely day to day chore of serving the customers. Which is not at all lovely. 90% of the people who come into River Island are fine. Pleasant, ordinary and inoffensive. That 10% that remains will make you want to give up on the human race. You are given abuse for not giving refunds (even though the item is deliberately damaged, has no receipt, isn't on your electronic sales history, is stained, worn, stinks of cigarette smoke, etc.) THEN when you ask a manager to come over, they completely override you and give the customer what they want to avoid a scene thus making you look a complete idiot. I have even had women threaten to wait for me after work and hurt me because I wouldn't give a refund. Most times it's genuinely a mistake that the receipt is missing...other times you can see clear as day that the item is old stock, disgustingly worn/damaged or even stolen. Customers in RI have learned that by kicking off, you get anything you want so following 'policy' as a refunder (oh, I haven't even covered this ridiculous fact yet!) is pointless. Customers WILL and OFTEN expect the Earth...why don't you have this top in my size? Can you phone XYZ branch and have it transferred/held? Why won't you refund this top my receipt is only four months out of date? Oh, and to the people who glare at me when I walk the floor and ask 'Hi, can I help you today?' we're TOLD to. If we don't, we're moaned at for NOT following the job description.
Onto the title 'refunder.' Not everyone in RI can do refunds and exchanges. It beggars belief. In a huge store with hundreds of customers, there are only a set number of people 'chosen' to be a refunder. Unfortunately I'm one of these suckers. Everyone who CAN'T do refunds has to call over someone who CAN do refunds whenever they get one at their till. God forbid there be 3 regular cashiers and one refunder...but then again this is a day to day occurrence on my shift. You are expected to juggle all the refunds, exchanges, price overrides, damaged discounts and item voids because guess what? 'Refunders' have a managerial code...WOW. Another burden. You are constantly glared at by waiting customers who have refunds and often, I have had 4, 5, 6 people waiting at my till for refunds while other cashiers have nobody to serve because there is no buyers, only refunds.
Oh, and the policies I mentioned that are there to 'help' refunders and instruct them on correct procedure? Managers always override them anyway if a customer raises their voice so it's like fighting a losing battle.
I have had arrogant, rude, aggressive, nasty, unhygenic and robbing customers, nothing surprises me. I am constantly spoken to like a piece of dirt by customers and sometimes, I want to scream at them that I am paid minimum wage to be abused and worked like a donkey. Would they speak to their sons/daughters/partners/friends/family in the way I am often addressed? NO chance. These people I genuinely believe are vicious towards staff like me because it makes them feel better about their own insecurities. Next time you go to complain, think about how the girl or boy you want to launch a hate campaign against is actually being treated. We are accused of everything, from not adhering to policy to being 'nasty' to customers. I had an incident two days ago where I received a complaint because I told a woman that because our white jeans are not packaged, there was no guarantee they would not be marked/dirty/creased. She complained about me, I was investigated and the smug bitch received 30% off the jeans which had the smallest mark on I have ever seen. My manager actually called me 'unprofessional' and 'a nasty piece of work.'
Managers. Oho. We come to the fun part. Rude, unprofessional, spiteful, petty, pathetic, power mad, power hungry and lazy. No support from them whatsoever, they constantly humiliate staff in front of customers and actually believe that to make staff afraid of 'consequences' is the best way to make them do what they are told. FYI RI managers...intimidation creates enemies, understanding creates bonds. If managers in RI were more supportive and understanding, the company wouldn't have the horrific staff turnover it does. They are nasty, two faced and completely patronising. Oh and they truly believe RI is the best thing since sliced bread, the bee all and end all and is a great 'career.'
I have been abused, humiliated and reduced to tears on occasions too numerous to count whilst working at RI. I have been disciplined for being off sick 'too much' after I caught pneumonia working in the icy stock room at Christmas and I also had time off for stress after being footwear manager and constantly abused and overloaded. I asked about support and a cardigan, both were laughed at.
I have had to comfort crying colleagues, clear up urine after people decided to relieve themselves in the changing rooms (really!) cope with violent threats from customers and have even witnessed a member of staff being punched by a customer...nothing was done to back up the member of staff and the manager apologised to the CUSTOMER. The young lady who was punched still works for RI but, like me, hates every second. There is no way I can leave because I have too many bills to meet at the end of the month. RI helps me to do this.
But I urge any young women (or men) never to work there unless you want to be ritualistically humilated, patronised, accused of thievery, abused by managers and customers alike and, eventually, have your confidence and self worth totally shattered. The clothes might be nice but behind the scenes there's a whole lot of nasty that I hope people will see through my post. RI should be deeply ashamed of the way it treats staff and anyone working there should form a support group- it's that traumatising. Believe me.