Lingerie boutiques can beat big names on service, says shop owner

Independent lingerie retailers can stay afloat on the changing high street by capitalising on being able to deliver what large retailers struggle to offer.

That’s according to Jill Axe, owner of Perfect Fit, a Sheffield-based lingerie retailer that has made a successful business based on customer service and professional fitting.

She believes that there are less staff available on the shop floor in many large retailers and that independents can provide a unique service.

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She told Lingerie Insight: “We do things that big shops can’t do. We will do special orders and if they want something obscure we can order them in. Because we’re here to serve all the time, that’s the difference.”

Axe added: “I think retail is changing and people are looking online, but they need a good service, and I think it will come back to that. If businesses want to make money from customers, they’ve got to look after them.”

Anne-Marie Blaire, who helped to pioneer Victoria’s Secret’s ecommerce strategy, recently told Lingerie Insight that it can be difficult to balance online convenience and in-store service, noting the importance of getting fitted in store by a trained fitter.

“Women can sometimes be misinformed as to what size they are as products can stretch and bodies can change,” she said.

But she added that online stores are ideal for millennials looking for a mix and match service. She explained: “This is why Victoria’s Secret Pink came about. It’s the really fun colours that appeal to the young consumer. Using the internet to make a mix and match tool is great for that young millennial.”

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2 Comments

  1. RLM said:

    stuck in a time warp? the only in store service that is consistently mentioned is bra fitting. Ok, but does a woman need to be fitted 6x/ year?? There MUST be other service related reasons to bring in lingerie customers on a frequent basis… what about building wardrobe (where all fitting help is needed, not just bra size) for lifestage occassions? what about an “around the world” fashion show (tho need more than just standard Cosabella and La perla) to pull off.. There have got to be reasons store help is an advantage other than the poking of a size fitting (aka droopy grandma’s reason for underthings). I was hoping this board would show some creativity along with the what-we-all-know even when not in the lingerie biz.

    • Milly said:

      Creativity alert RLM – We are exactly in this market – The Lingerie Lab is an online marketplace that offers top independent designers only. We help our customers discover exquisite designers from all around the world and create a curated online closet based on their size and tastes (www.lingerie-lab.com/my-fitting-room). And when offline, we organise pop-up boutique shopping experience lingerie lounges and fashion shows! We have only earlier this year but we have made some press and growing internationally as our database of brands grows with us!
      Don’t hesitate to get it touch with me!

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