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Our Retail Apprentices

Volunteering with the British Red Cross

Last week, our Retail Apprentices were Volunteering with the British Red Cross

stores for two days. This is part of their programme and allows the learner to think about Retail

from a different perspective, rather than just fast fashion! 

Our apprentices took part in every aspect of the store including stock management,

working on the shop floor, competitor analysis, competitor feedback and visual

merchandising to create and design a new front window!

 

Our apprentices volunteered all across the country, working in Birmingham,

Wantage, Doncaster, Liverpool, Droylsden, Greater Manchester, Godalming &

Southampton! 

 

 

 

 

Apprentice BRC

Is volunteering something you love to do? What about whilst working towards a qualification?

Check out our Apprenticeships here or you might find something more suitable in our Stores or Head Office

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Who run the world?

Women!

 

 

 

To celebrate the Women of RIHQ on International Women's Day, last week,

we launched a brand new, limited edition RI Fe-Mail card!

This card was only available for 24 Hours.. 

so the pressure was on not to miss out!

 

 

We also held a competition with everyone that received

a Fe-Mail Card, challenging all to post a photo with their card,

tagging our Instagram, @LifeatRI for the chance to win a fab prize!

Check out all our entries below... as well as the winner!

 

P.S. Don't forget who run the world...

 

 

IWD Collage

And the winner is... 

Winner!

Yuliya from the RI Pattern Room! Congrats!

To make sure you stay up to date with all of these amazing women on our social media, make sure to follow our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Or you could even join these amazing women and work with them! Check out all of our Head Office & Retail vacancies on our website!

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The Leap Year:

What will you do with your extra day?

The leap year is here! Meaning we get an extra day in the form of February 29th, on a Saturday! 

With already getting some luck with it falling on a Saturday, we want to encourage you to celebrate it in the best way possible! 

We've got some perfect ideas for you to take advantage of your leap day whilst hearing what some of us are doing!

 

 

 

Francine Larkin, People Experience Manager

This leap year I'm spending my extra day with a special

friend at Sushi Samba (because she's the only person I know that likes sushi...)

followed by lots of gin!! 🍸 

 

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Mike Collins, Senior People Experience Specialist

I LOVE the outdoors and don't get out enough during the the week,

so I'll be spending my extra day going on a 30 mile mountain bike ride around the hills of

Lancashire! Can't Wait! 🚲 

 

 

Sacha Thomas, Internal Commiunications & People Experience Partner

None of my family have anything planned,

which makes it the perfect time to plan something together!

We're all going out for dinner together followed by some Netflix & popcorn 🍿 

 

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Georgia Thornton, Employer Brand & People Experience Specialist

Is it too early for a spring clean?

Cleaning out my wardrobe and rooms, general decluttering makes me

feel as though the day has been well spent whilst having a clear

head at the end of it ❣ 

Or you could...

 

Volunteer

 

Learn a new skill! 

 

Start a Blog

 

Apply for a new job

 

Dont apologize for the whole day!

 

Sign up for some new professional courses

 

Make quick decisions... you don't need to overthink!

 

Check out our new vacancies!

 

Simply just take break...

You can keep up to date with all of our #LeapYear actitivities on our social accounts! Check out our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Head Office

A Day in the Life Of…

Amber Stratford

Welcome to the newest installment of A Day in the Life Of Amber Stratford! Our Senior Buyers Admin Assistant, Amber gets to see the product through from the very material we are buying to seeing it end up in store as a finished product! 

 

 

After lots of listening and learning, Amber has gained the knowledge and skills

that has allowed her to progress and develop into this position, becoming a key part

of our product process!

 

 

Watch her video below to find out more about just one of the many areas you can work in

here at River Island!

Don't forget to tag us in your favourite RI Denim Fit, by using #rishowoffyourstlye & #CommitToaFit , or you could simply tag us on Instagram at @lifeatriverisland 

You can see more clips and updates of our people here at River Island on our social channels! Check us out! 

 

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn 

Remember, if you've got an interview coming up check out our 10 Top Ten Interview Tips for a helping hand! 

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Valentines Day

This time, it's all about you!

With the big day nearly upon us, the pressure seems to rise to make some sort of elaborate gesture towards that special person in your life.. but why? 

Why should we be focusing on someone else when the first step to loving someone else should involve loving yourself

So we wanted to do something a little different... 

This year, we wanted to declare love for ourselves, becuase WHY NOT? We've kicked off by talking to our very own, in-house self-care and wellness guru, Joanne Earle! 

Valentines Day? This time it's all about you!

 

 

Hi everyone! I'm Joanne, a Talent Partner who's had the best 2 years at RI!

 

Q: Could you give us an overview of your role, how you got into your role, what you do/who you look after etc.

 

I look after Leadership & Management development and all things wellbeing.

I kind of fell into my role in L&D, having worked in retail for years I was asked to join the people team as I was “really good at coaching” and 16 years later, I hope I still really am good at coaching!

I look after our head office and retail teams and anyone else who needs me 😊

 

 

Q: What’s been your best experience and/or memorable moment in your career at RI?

 

My best experience would be that when I joined River Island, the thing I loved the most was the people and the family feel, so I wanted to make sure we were carrying on that theme and giving people the right support to take care of their wellbeing, so I launched our self-care offering.

At first it was slow going, I only had 3 people turn up and the session after, no one, now 2 years later it’s our most popular session and our most used online resource!

I am so proud of how the RI family looks out for each other and my most memorable moment is being voted the connecting star by my RI family, I will never forget this because it’s how recognition that I’m helping others - this may be too cheese but it’s true!

 

 

Q: Do you have any tips or advice for those struggling or wondering where/how to get advice at work/RI?

 

Everyone has bad days, but if you’re having more bad days than good, go and talk to someone! It’s ok not to be ok!

Be kind to ourselves, ease up on yourself and take a daily reminder of all the great things we are doing not just the one thing we didn’t do so well.

I love my job and the people at RI are some of the best I’ve ever worked with, having come from big corporate organisations the culture here is very different and I took me a little while to find my way, but I honestly wouldn’t want to work anywhere else now.

 

 

 

Have a look below to check out Joanne praciticng some self-care with the people she loves!

 

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To help with your own self-care this month, we want to set you a little challenge.. 

 

Every day, we want YOU to do something for YOURSELF! Take a look below!

RI CALENDAR - FABULOUS FEBRUARY

Dont forget to check out our stories today to see what our people love about themselves! You can check them out here

 

Keep up to date with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

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One Word: Appreciation

Who do we Appreciate? YOU

One Word: Appreciation.

Whether it’s a simple “thank you” or an office party thrown in your favor,

EVERYONE likes to be appreciated (even if they say otherwise...). The simple act of

showing some gratitude and appreciation to others can have a HUGE effect on the emotional

environment at work!

Encouraging people to show their appreciation for others also has a significant impact

on an employees' health and wellbeing, so we are sharing what some of our people at River Island are appreciative for, along with some tips

on how to appreciate!

Joanne, Talent Partner (Wellbeing)

"I really appreciate my River Island Family, my team, the people that I work with, it's one of the best places that I've ever worked! I love the culture here, I appreciate the fact that we all look out for eachother, act with integrity and get the job done!"

Joanne Blog

Charlotte, Sales Advisor

" I am massively apreciative for my Area Manager, who has pushed me to be my best, she has helped me both instore and out of the store, so I'll be forever grateful!"

Charlotte

Mike, Senior People Experience Partner

"What do I appreciate? I appreciate a great canteen, the gym, I appreciate everyone that I work with, they're so kind and friendly and supportive. It means I can love doing meaningful work and work that I love for River Island!"

Mike Collins

Need a few Tips on how to appreciate? Look no further...

 

- Say Thankyou. We'll start with something simple. By simply showing your gratitude to

someone at work can have a huge effect on your environment.. so why not try to make it as positive as you can?!

 

- Appreciate Yourself. Start with yourself, appreciating you is the best place to start.

Making AT LEAST one day a week about YOU, will allow you to see the benefits of appreciation.

 

- Change your way of thinking. Of course, at work, everyone will experience a moment that

irritates them (we've all been there..) but finding something you're grateful for in those situtations

will give you the power to appreciate the small things.

 

-Be Present! Whilst at work, we all have a tendancy to drift off and daydream about that Bali

Holiday we've all been thinking about.. but being in the moment will make you feel like you are

making the most and best out of every situation. 

 

- Reflect. At the end of a long, tiring, irritating (the list goes on) day at work, reflecting back on the

day you've will help you see your best bits. How about trying to think about the 'peak' of your day.

What was your best bit? 

 Want to show your appreciation at River Island? Check out our roles here! With over 300 stores in the UK, Head Office and the Distribution Centre, we have somewhere you'll love to work and be able to work with people that appreciate YOU.

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National Apprenticeship Week

Meet our Apprentices!

It's National Apprenticeship Week! 

 

Our apprenticeship programme is something that we are extremely passionate about as a business

and are continously working hard to increaase the opportunities we have available! 

To help you understand just exactly what we offer, we had a chat with Gemma and Jack who help to lead and manage the programme...

...so have a read to find out more about what you can expect on your programme here! 

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Jack PS

Gemma Palmer, Early Careers Partner

Jack Norris, Talent Partner

Q: Hi Gemma! We're excited to get to know more about you! How long have you been here at River Island?

Hi! I've been here about 2 years and 4 months, and am now one month in to my new role as Early Careers Partner

 

Q: Could you give us an overview of your role, what you do & who you look after?

I am a big advocate of apprenticeships and providing opportunities for people to develop and progress their career. So I work with learning providers to find great apprenticeships and qualification for new and existing employees. We have people on apprenticeships from A-Level standard to Masters degree!

We also have our own Retail Team Leader apprenticeship and I'm here to make sure that we are delivering a quality learning experience to our future managers.

 

I am currently leading on building and maintaining partnerships with Fashion Colleges and Universities to promote River Island as a great place to work to creative and inspiring students to help to build a pipeline of talent to the business, which is very exciting! 

 

Q: For anyone applying for a River Island Apprenticeship, what’s the process and  what do you need?

For our Retail Team Leader apprenticeship, you will need to be endorsed by your manager and apply when the window is open.

 

We also have vacancies advertised on our careers page for apprenticeships as they arise!

 

If you are interested in a particular qualification, there may be an apprenticeship for that… you can check by speaking to your manager and get in touch with me to check if we can support you via an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are now open to everyone of all ages.

 

I am such a bit fan that I am currently enrolled in a HR CIPD qualification alongside my role!

 

Q: What’s been your best experience and/or memorable moment leading the apprenticeship programme?

The best experience I have had so far is when I was directly responsible for one of my apprentices learning for her Retail Team Leader qualification. She needed to complete her apprenticeship earlier than her group because she was due to go on maternity leave. I worked very closely on a 1 to 1 basis to guide her through and deliver her programme separately. She did so well that she passed with a distinction. I was on the phone with her to let her know and we both cried with pride.

 

Q: Any tips or advice for future RI Apprentices?

Make sure your manager is aware of your aspiration to develop new knowledge and skills and that they are able to support you to achieve your apprenticeship, they are key to the success of any apprenticeship programme.

 

Q: Hi Jack! Ready to tell us all you know?! So how long have you been here at River Island?

Hi! I've been here nearly 3 years this summer!

 

Q: Could you give us an overview of your role, what you do & who you look after?

 

I'm responsible for managing and delivering the Retail Apprenticeship Programme.

Yet prior to fashion, I spent four years working in various Learning and Development teams building my knowledge and experience to understand how best to develop individuals, both personally and professionally.

 

Q: For anyone applying for a River Island Apprenticeship, what’s the process and  what do you need?

 

We open our Retail Apprenticeship intake periodically, currently focusing on our Level 2 internal employees in-store, who possess the determination and passion to drive their own career with River Island. 

The programme takes 18 months to complete and once passed, learners will achieve a Level 3 Retail Team Leader Apprenticeship – this is equivalent to two A-Levels!

The programme is made up of a range of learning, including face to face workshops, virtual sessions, in-store coursework and a 2-day charity placement. Throughout the programme the apprentices will have access to people and content that not everyone has a chance to experience – this is what makes our programme so unique.

 

Q: What’s been your best experience and/or memorable moment leading the apprenticeship programme?

 

It’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly one experience/moment being the highlight, as there’s been so many.

For me personally, clearly seeing the difference we are making to individuals and their teams is the most rewarding part of my job – being that direct link in giving someone the invaluable tools of personal progression is amazing!

 

Q: Any tips or advice for future RI Apprentices?

My top three tips would be - embrace every opportunity with both hands, don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and learn from your mistakes.

 

 

 

 

Why not hear from some our apprentices themselves?!

Tallulah & Hayley, Womenswear Allocators

"We're studying at the Fashion Retail Academy to gain a Level 4 qualification in Business and Professional Administration" 

 

Kally & Klaudia, Kidswear & Menswear Allocators 

"I decided to apply for this apprenticeship because I knew I wanted to gain experience and also get a qualification at the end of it" - Callie

"'I decided to start this apprenticeship after completing a Level 3 course in sixth form or college" - Claudia 

Fancy applying for one of these? 

If you're already at River Island, why not have a chat with Gemma or your line manager? 

If you want to be at River Island, check out our Early Careers Page & Head Office Page to see what we have available!

 

To find out what we're up to daily, you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Head Office

A Day in the Life Of…

Sacha Thomas!

Welcome to the newest installment of A Day in the Life Of Sacha Thomas! Our Internal Communications Executive, Sacha, has been with us for 3 years now, experiencing how many different departments operate, before bringing them all together through communication. 

 

 

After finishing her Law and Theatre degree at University, Sacha decided to put her passion for fashion into practice!

Starting her career with us on Reception, Sacha made her mark on River Island by connecting with everyone and anyone, standing out for her creative and memorable outfit choices! Amongst all of this, Sacha was unaware that she was building the foundations of a career in internal communications. 

 

Progressing and evolving with us for the past two years, eventually led Sacha into her current role!

 

Watch her video below to find out more about just one of the many areas you can work in

here at River Island!

You can see more clips and updates of our people here at River Island on our social channels! Check us out! 

 

InstagramFacebookTwitter & LinkedIn 

Remember, if you've got an interview coming up, whether it's for Retail, Head Office or our Distribution Centre, check out our 10 Top Ten Interview Tips for a helping hand! 

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Next Gen Tech – Retail

Leading the Agile Retail Revolution!

With Next Generation Technology in Retail quickly changing the Retail World, we wanted to take a look into how

Articificial Intelligence is being used right here at

River Island!

We spoke to Rasheed Ibrahim, responsible for managing IT Training in RI Tech. 

He helps guide us through this next generation technology in retail and how it's helping evolve the way we manage stock at River island.

What is it & who uses it?

"Nextail is a stock optimisation platform used exclusively by our Distribution Hub and selected stores.    The distribution hub use the replenishment module which has replaced ODBMS.  It then uses data driven logic to forecast demand and replenish to stores with the highest probability of sales.  This is done through machine learning, so it learns from previous experiences, without being explicitly programmed and automatically improves future forecasts! What's not to love?!     Our Selected stores can use the app to access key information that allows them to monitor performance in their store.  They can use it to review their bestsellers (any guesses?), identify previous bestsellers where (if!) sales have dropped off and see products that are selling well for the company but not in their store.  They can then use this data to help them make real-time commercial decisions to help drive sales."

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How does it help our people?

Charlotte Inge, Senior Allocator - WW Distribution Hub Denim, Plus & Petite

“Nextail has made my job easier by automatically replenishing link lines so I don’t have to allocate manually. This has saved me so much time.

Using the Top Products page I can quickly see my bestsellers and review stockouts. Allows me to find areas in need of improvement quickly”.

How has the response been to this change?

"The response to the change has been massively positive, from all levels of the business!   Within Replenishment, there was a big appetite for change within B&M (Buying & Merch) and the teams using Nextail embraced the new system and the new technology with great enthusiasm.  We faced a few challenges along the way (which is to be expected when implementing a new system) but the teams consistently displayed great resilience and positivity in finding solutions.   With our Store app, the selected stores have been hugely positive about the new introduction! They’ve fully adopted the new technology and have embraced the new and improved ways of working that the app has enabled."

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So this helps our stores distribute product accordingly, does this help our retail employees at all?

 

"The app gives stores visibility of daily data, giving them the ability to make decisions with more up to date data than they previously could.  It saves them a significant amount of time when completing their floor walks and has decreased their use of paper reports." 

 

 

 

The initial launch has been so successful that the store app is being rolled out to all stores in the early part of 2020!

 

 

Keen to explore the world of Retail? Check out our vacancies and if you want to push the boundaries in Retail Tech check out our tech vacancies too!