Hunkemöller, the biggest lingerie retailer in Northern Europe, has landed in the UK with an ecommerce platform and bold plans to fend off competition on the high street.
The Dutch brand, which already operates 800 stores in 20 territories, launched its UK site yesterday and intends to open physical stores in the future.
Speaking in Berlin last night at an event which marked Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes as the new face of the brand, CEO Philip Mountford told Lingerie Insight: “Launching in the UK is quite a unique feat for us because it’s the first time we’ve launched a platform in a country where we don’t have a physical store.
“We have quite a unique proposition – our USP is that we offer fashionable products in a variety of sizes, so we offer back sizes 30-44 and cup sizes AA-FF,” he added.
Mountford said that although Hunkemöller, whose main UK competitor is Boux Avenue, would wait at least two years to open physical stores in the UK, it’s in the retailer’s “strategic plan” to make a big impact on the British high street.
“When we go into a market, we go into a market seriously and don’t just go in and open a few stores,” he stated.
“We have 500 stores in Germany, 200 stores in Holland, 120 stores in Belgium and we’ve just gone into Austria, where we will open between 70 and 100 stores. So everywhere we go, we become number one.
“So when we go into the UK, we will not just play around for a few stores. When we come in, we will come in to be serious.”
Hunkemöller recorded a like-for-like sales rise of 6% this year, on top of a 9.3% rise in 2014/15.
Online sales grew 53% in the same period, while physical store sales were up 3.2%.