Times are hard in the retail sector. After the Easter boost in shopper numbers to high street destinations, footfall has lost momentum in the last month, which has been mirrored in recent sales figures.
Even online sales have been hit by rising inflation and political uncertainty following the snap general election and the Hung Parliament result.
On top of all this, rising business rates and a drop in consumer spending have forced retailers like Simply Be to close their loss-making stores.
Yet, despite the general feeling of doom and gloom on the high street, there’s something exciting happening among Britain’s biggest lingerie and swimwear multiples.
Boux Avenue, for example, has grown its sales to reach £44.4m and built a credible nationwide presence, with 28 UK stores opened since it launched in 2011.
It has also broken ground on a new 90,000ft2 warehouse, set to be fully operational by Christmas, to meet the rising demand for its lingerie and swimwear styles internationally.
Ann Summers, meanwhile, is ramping up its presence on the high street, opening new shops in major shopping destinations like Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough and rolling out a new store design across the rest of its estate.
Fuller-bust lingerie and swimwear retailer Bravissimo has also been making the headlines this year with a wave of new store openings. The company now has 26 shops open across the country, with the 27th opening in Chelmsford this summer, and has recently relocated its Cardiff and Liverpool store to prime shopping locations.
So what’s driving this inspiring trend among multiples? In an interview with Lingerie Insight, Bravissimo product director Clare Harris explains that it is a sign that multiples are in growth mode and feeling confident about investing in bricks and mortar. She also discusses new projects and expansion plans in the feature, which will be published in the July issue of the magazine.