Magazine article Marketing

Womenswear: Rigby & Peller Looks North

Magazine article Marketing

Womenswear: Rigby & Peller Looks North

Article excerpt

The lingerie brand has set its sights on growth, writes Kim Benjamin.

Rigby & Peller, the Queen's corsetiere, last month signalled its intention to boost its presence in the UK, as it revealed it may open stores in Yorkshire.

The brand, which was acquired by the Belgian group Van de Velde in 2011, has hitherto maintained its UK presence exclusively in the South of England, with eight branches in upmarket areas including Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Chelsea in London, and Guildford in Surrey.

It prides itself on the fact that its fitters undergo a rigorous training course that enables them to tell a customer's bra size without using a tape measure.

With much of Rigby & Peller's online sales coming from the North and as far afield as Scotland, its expansion plans are aimed at capitalising on this market. They are also a response to those customers who have moved away from London but remain faithful to the brand.

At the same time, Rigby & Peller has also been active abroad, expanding to Europe and China with plans to increase the number of stores it has in Asia in the coming year.

In the past year, the brand has attempted to widen its UK customer base by appealing to a younger audience. This has included moving away from its traditional burgundy packaging with the introduction of a fresh look. But what should the brand - where bra prices start at just over pounds 30 and which can charge hundreds of pounds for its made-to-measure products - do to ensure that its products broaden their appeal across the globe?

We asked Carrie Eames, director at consultancy Cream Communications & Marketing and former international marketing director at lingerie manufacturer Eveden, which owns the Freya and Goddess labels, and Shaeren McKenzie, group marketing director at McArthurGlen Designer Outlets. who was previously marketing director at Gossard.

RIGBY & PELLER STATS

8 - The number of stores that Rigby & Peller has in the South

Pounds 8m - The amount Van de Velde paid in 2011 for an 87% stake in the business

Source: Rigby & Peller

DIAGNOSIS

Two industry experts on how Rigby & Peller can extend its reach without diluting its reputation

- Carrie Eames, Director, Cream Communications & Marketing (former international marketing manager, Eveden, and consultant to Leia Lingerie)

Rigby & Peller knows what most retailers somehow don't: buying lingerie should feel like a treat. …

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