UKLA JUDGE: 5 minutes with Elise Recour

Elise Recour, general manager at Gossard and Berlei, was part of the judging panel that oversaw the retailer categories of the 2015 UK Lingerie Awards. She is adamant that staying on trend is the key to success and predicts what direction bricks and mortar retailers will need to take to survive.

What did you most enjoy about judging the UK Lingerie Awards?

Seeing a snapshot of everything that the various retailers have been doing over the past year was really interesting. From the large department stores to the independents, it was good to get a glimpse into the fantastic work being done to promote our industry and the innovative approaches retailers are taking.

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Why are the UK Lingerie Awards important to today’s industry?

It’s a fantastic barometer of who is really excelling and doing something new and different, which we should all be aware of. It’s interesting to see the different brands and retailers coming through every year. I really like the spectrum of businesses recognised by the awards, from the top players to the new starters.

Based on the entries you judged, what retail trends are likely to shape the market in 2016?

I think retailers will continue to put the consumer at the heart of their business and work to find solutions for modern women, whether it be post-surgery options or interactive online videos, tutorials and advice, engaging with the customer and her specific needs is vital. For bricks and mortar retailers, I think we will see a continued emphasis on customer journey and entertainment.

What three factors make a successful lingerie retailer?

Stay on trend – keeping up to date with the latest industry innovations and fashion; Balance – ensure you have the right mix of classics with cutting edge; and Expertise – a retailer who understands lingerie is probably the simplest yet most effective way to help secure a successful business.

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