Independents must offer unique stock to set themselves apart from department stores, says Tallulah Lingerie

Owners of independent lingerie stores should avoid copying stock from department stores in order to thrive on the UK’s high streets, claims Tallulah Lingerie founder.

Nicola Adams, who set up Tallulah Lingerie in Islington almost 15 years ago, told Lingerie Insight that stocking trend-driven intimate apparel lines is a losing strategy.

The entrepreneur explained that independent stores of the UK’s high streets cannot compete on price and should attempt to set themselves apart from the likes of Debenhams and House of Fraser by stocking alternative, less-common lingerie brands.

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She said: “Generally we don’t follow trends because that’s going to be like every other shop. There are some independent brands that you can’t get everywhere and some you can get in department stores, so if we bought what they bought, we’re not really offering anything different.”

As well as setting the store apart with stock, Adams explains that boutique stores should bolster experiential shopping as a means of attracting and retaining customers.

She added: “We will try to go an extra step further that they’re not going to get in another shop, offer them tea if they’re in for a while, just that extra thing that department stores don’t do and you definitely can’t get online.”

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One Comment;

  1. Jane Haklam said:

    This is fantastic advice from Nicola. Independent stores are in an ideal position to provide an indulgent shopping experience as we all know what we will get from a large department store – big names and little personal attention if we need help with fit. There are a growing number of small lingerie businesses that don’t have the capacity and/or ability to get in front of large department stores to pitch to sell but are producing wonderful lingerie that the majority of potential customers are unaware of and would love to be exposed to and explore.

    The only other lingerie store that I have been offered a cup of tea is Agent Provocateur in Manchester, never a busy store and you are made to feel special by the attention and it is great to try things on as the fit across styles for the past few years varies quite a bit.

    Wearing the right lingerie boosts your self esteem and the buying experience should reflect the entire experience, this is where independent boutiques can come into their own and stock new and small brands that customers would love to try. Jane x

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