YET another British High Street chain is set for Australian shores. River Island has formed an alliance with Australian local, Retail Apparel Group, who own brands including Tarocash and YD, and are actively seeking real estate sites in Melbourne and Sydney.
River Island is a fast fashion retailer with high turn over and low price pointed stock.
The move follows a mass influx of overseas brands entering the Australian retail market, including UK based Topshop, Spanish fast fashion chain Zara and rumours of Swedish giant H&M hitting town.
“At this stage Retail Apparel Group has formed an alliance with River Island and are looking for sites in Australia,” RAG General Manager of Business Strategy Alan Radomsky said.
Radomsky would not be drawn on the nature of the `alliance’ but the venture is the RAG’s first foray into womenswear.
RAG founder Stephen Leibowitz said the deal with River Island UK has been a year in the making.
Leibowitz said they would certainly consider the new Emporium site in Melbourne’s CBD for the store.
“We would consider anything as long as it is the right deal,”
Leibowitz said a shopping centre was probably out of contention because the floor space River Island needs is very large.
“We need around 1500 square metres,” he said.
RAG could not confirm if Melbourne or Sydney would be first to get a new store.
The retail group hope to open the first Australian River Island store by early 2014.