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Strategy and the Management of Change

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lewis Trust Group Ltd. The diversified Lewis Trust Group operates in the retail, leisure, property and financial services industry (River Island, 2011). River Island has been present in the fashion retailing industry since the last six decades. The company is recognised for its elegant and reasonably priced fashion in addition to the exclusive touches the company gives to its fashion collection, making them standout from the other fashion retailers of the High Street (River Island, 2011). The company was established in the year 1948 in the form of a small store in London dealing with wool and ladies clothing. As the business expanded, the company started to focus only on ladies clothing and came to be known as ‘Lewis Separates’. By the year 1968, the company had around 70 stores in the UK. During the same time, Lewis Separates opened up few new concept stores with innovative designs and formats that were known as ‘Chelsea Girl’. Chelsea Girl was the foremost fashion boutique chain in the UK. In the year 1983, the company came up with men’s wear under the name ‘Concept Man’. Nevertheless, as a result of further progression, in 1988 the company evolved into theme store offering footwear, cosmetics, accessories, and men’s as well as women’s clothing and came to be known as ‘River Island’ (Competition Commission, 2004. Lea-Greenwood, 1993). The Environmental Analysis This section of the study would focus on the environmental analysis which would comprise of an assessment of the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal atmosphere affecting the United Kingdom where River Island is headquartered (Havergal amp. Edmonstone, 1999. Learn Marketing, n.d.). The United Kingdom offers a relatively stable domestic political environment to River Island. However, developed nations like the UK cannot contend with the developing countries in terms of low-cost manufacturing facilities and cheap labour. The regulations of the European Union impact the apparel industry of the UK in terms of minimum remunerations, fixed working hours and imports from across the EU boundary (Key Note, 2001). The economic environment of the UK would have an imperative impact on apparel stores like River Island. The rise in the prices of real estate particularly in the prime sites of the region might decelerate the store extension activity of River Island or might result in decrease in the floor space of the new stores. The augmentation in the oil prices would also increase expenses through the supply chain of the company. The potential economic depression in the region had lead to the decline in disposable income of the public on apparels and fashion products, causing a likely decline in the prospective market (Key Note, 2001). The major social trend prevalent these days is a shift towards lavish lifestyle and stylish clothing particularly among the urban adults. The increased inclination of the public toward fashion garments and accessories have enhanced the necessity for product diversification amongst the apparel stores and River Island is no exception. The rapid technological advancement and the exceeding