(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Natori lingerie is leading the way to a standout year for its New York-based licensee. According to vice president of global sales Rob Gardner of Dana-co (which is home to other intimate apparel brands as well), Natori is finding success in both large stores and small.
“Natori continues to gain market share and experience strong sales trends. And we’ve achieved that result through the strength of our product while controlling our distribution. You can still only find Natori at better department stores and better boutiques, as well as online.” Gardner added, “Specialty stores and e-commerce are our most explosive areas of growth.”
Dana-co has been making Natori lingerie for years, and more recently acquired both the Lipo in a Box and Go2Bras brands. It has also produced a licensed Sofia Vergara collection of intimates for Kmart.
We asked Gardner where the growth in the Natori specialty store business was coming from, new stores or expansion within existing locations. “It’s really a combination of both,” he replied. “As we gain market share, new boutiques are realizing the opportunity. At the same time our largest boutique accounts are getting larger as they increase our footprint and add new categories like sport, unlined, soft cups and pants.
“Success at retail,” is the overriding reason retailers are turning to Natori, argued Gardner. “Natori is thriving because of our stying, fit and comfort. Who doesn’t want to carry successful product they can be proud of in their stores? And distribution. Boutiques don’t have to worry that the traditional department store down the street will be selling Natori on sale at 33% off or through a coupon every Saturday. Dana-co doesn’t sell to those retailers.”
The Dana-co sales executive said the Natori “Feathers” collection “would be the natural place to begin,” for retailers interested in starting with the designer. “Feathers is one of the top bras in the industry. This year we added a front close racer back that we couldn’t keep in stock the first six months. Feathers also has several co-pant options. Sport is also a hot category. Our Natori Yogi Bra has helped reinvigorate the category.”
Looking at the overall market, Gardner concluded, “It’s brand-to-brand combat out there. We have to out-invent our competitors every day. And we have to give our retailers excellent service. We take both of those challenges seriously. Every day.”
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