UKLA JUDGE: 5 minutes with Jennie Bianco

Jennie Bianco, head of marketing at Panache Sport, was part of the judging panel that oversaw the retailer categories of the 2015 UK Lingerie Awards. She tips body metrics and body scanning as areas to watch in the British swimwear market.

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

Reading the entries was informative and gave me additional knowledge about the industry. It’s always interesting to see what people want to shout about. There were entries from all different ends of the spectrum and what’s important to one retailer may not even be on the radar for another.

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

It is unique. There isn’t another awards programme out there that celebrates product, brands and retailers in the same way.

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

There is always lots of talk of body metrics/scanning with the hope that this can solve the fit issues around lingerie/bra sized swimwear. It is an area to watch. However, as women’s bodies are so different, I think the personal touch is paramount – across all channels and consumer touch points.

How can lingerie retailers stand out in the market from their competitors?

Stocking a good selection of styles and sizes is, of course, no secret to being able to cater to a broader market and banking repeat custom. Being a specialist in what you know best or are most passionate about can give you an advantage.

What three factors make a successful lingerie retailer?

Knowing your customer, having the right product available and good customer service. Women want lingerie shopping to be something pleasurable and done with ease and discretion, and it’s the retailer’s job to make that happen.

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