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Measuring the Rihanna effect on River Island

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With a month to go until River Island’s Rihanna range goes on sale online and in its stores, we have figures to share illustrating the effect the celebrity has on the retailer’s web traffic.

Rihanna’s second collection for the retailer will be available to buy from September 12, and the first pictures can now be seen across the web, including here.

The dance pop singer’s first collection was unveiled with a London Fashion Week catwalk show in February. Web measurement company SimilarGroup investigated the subsequent Rihanna effect on River Island’s traffic. It found that in the three months between April and June, 1.3% of all web traffic went to Rihanna’s collection.

“This is a huge amount of traffic, considering the breadth of River Island’s online offering so I was surprised to see the impact her small collection had on River Island’s website traffic,” said Daniel Buchuk, head of brand and strategy at SimilarGroup.

Buchuk also compared River Island’s online visitors to those visiting rival TopShop, in the light of Rihanna’s recent legal victory against TopShop, after it sold a T-shirt with an image of her face that she had not authorized.

He found the two were close competitors on the web as well as the high street, with Topshop boasting the 239th most popular website in the UK and River Island the 223rd. “It’s not just about a T-shirt,” he said of Rihanna’s Topshop case. “We see how celebrity endorsements and partnerships have a huge impact on the bottom line of these retailers. They are expensive collaborations and it makes perfect sense for them to protect their investments.

Buchuk added: “”The impact that ‘brand Rihanna’ has on River Island’s website visits and therefore business helps us understand why celebrities are so protective about the usage of their names and pictures.”

Find SimilarGroup’s analysis of TopShop’s performance here.

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