Online fashion giant Very.co.uk has recorded a 28% growth in branded lingerie sales in the space of two years, driven by the explosion of fashionable lingerie that is worn to be seen.
In AW15 alone, lingerie sales jumped 24% on the previous year, indicating an unprecedented boom for the retailer.
Explaining the growth spurt, Jen Scott, head of buying for Footwear and Essentials at Shop Direct, Very’s parent company, said: “As a business, we’re exploding fashionability and that’s something that we have done within lingerie over the last 12 to 18 months.
“We have recruited a lot of new brands, so one of the biggest and probably most exciting for us has been Boux Avenue. Obviously, the point of bringing those guys on board is for us to explode fashionability in line with our clothing and footwear strategy. So that’s been really exciting for us,” she added.
“We’ve also launched Bluebella, Heidi Klum Intimates, Spanx, Passionata and Ellesse for AW16, which has been really exciting, and we’ve got a few more brands on the way.”
As well as recruiting new brands, Very has been working with existing brands to improve stock availability across a range of styles.
“We’ve massively extended the Pour Moi? range and seen some really good success with that, so that’s been brilliant. From 2014 to 2016, Pour Moi? has grown 109%.”
The lingerie team has also focused on improving the customer journey since launching a lingerie boutique on the Very site 12 months ago.
“Each month we’ve been learning about what the customer likes to see, how she likes to shop, which areas get the most clicks etc, and building on this month after month,” said Scott.
Very has found that customers who previously shopped for womenswear are now shopping for lingerie at the same time.
“We’re getting a lot more cross-sales,” said Scott.
“I think this is because the fashionability has improved a lot so they’re picking up add-on sales now. We work very closely with the womenswear teams and the design teams and those guys are really excited about the lingerie at the moment because they can accessorise a tuxedo jacket with a worn-to-be-seen bralette for example.”
The wellness trend has also triggered a growth of lingerie and athleisure sales at Very.
“Our sports bras have performed phenomenally well for us and we’re working on a few projects to explode that whole ‘love my body’ trend,” explained Scott.
Look out for the October issue of Lingerie Insight to read the full interview with Jen Scott and Very’s senior assistant buyer for lingerie, Kimberley Mather.