Q&A with Stephanie Percy, president & key buyer.
Number of stores: 1,
expanding to destination locations in 2012.
Location: Bellevue, Wash.
Square footage: 700
Year opened: 2010
A.T.P., BODY: Describe your business.
S.P.: La Bijou is high-end lingerie boutique located in the historic boutique district of Bellevue, Washington. The ambiance of La Bijou is a blend of contemporary, shabby chic, boudoir stylings where clients are treated to champagne and truffles while they take their time exploring the luxurious international fashion collections and beautiful basic lines. La Bijou nurtures the eternal femininity of women by offering an intimate setting where clients can rediscover the power of seduction, the playfulness of sensuality and the elegance and love of being a woman ... a feeling that only lovely lingerie evokes. La Bijou also recognizes that like men, women are visual creatures, and therefore offers men’s garments that are appealing to the eye. Boxer briefs and trunks are made from natural fibers that allow for a comfort level not found with cotton briefs.
A.T.P.: What makes your store special?
S.P.: La Bijou is an experience. Clients walk in and are greeted with a smile, bubbly and truffles. They are encouraged to quit the rest of the world and enjoy a bit of time without worry. As they acclimate to the intimate setting and warm reception, they are personally guided through the boutique learning about the various collections. All the while, we are learning about them, what type of woman is before us: angelic, girly, playful, seductress or vixen. At La Bijou, clients know we not only appreciate them, we want to know them. The lovelies are just a bonus.
A.T.P.: What brands are important?
S.P.: The women’s brands La Perla, Aubade, Simone Perele and Chantelle are the favored brands with Aubade taking the lead on fashion. Aubade is very coutour/Avant-Garde, which is what the La Bijou client wants. Simone Perele and Chantelle are romantic and playful, nurturing the feminine side of our clients. Huit, Fauve, Blush, Natori and Christine Vancouver are all lovely and will remain in the boutique. We have stopped carrying Le Mystere, Blush, Jezebel and Felina. The men’s brands include Bend The Rules, Punto Blanco, Saxx, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein.
A.T.P.: What price range do you carry?
S.P.: Price points range from the mid $80s up to $900-plus depending on the line. Most collections have band sizes from 30 to 38 and cup sizes from A to F. Babydolls, chemise sets, robes and the like range in size from XS through L.
A.T.P.: How would you describe your customer base?
S.P.: Clients are a discerning and affluent group who enjoy unique garments not found in department stores. The divide among purchasers is approximately 70 percent women and 30 percent men, although the number of men purchasing for their significant others and themselves continues to increase. Many of the La Bijou male clientele provide their information initially, then call in regularly for new items that are selected by La Bijou, gently wrapped and ready for pick-up at the clients convenience. This service is gaining a great deal of popularity.
A.T.P.: What is your typical or average customer size?
S.P.: The average size range of is 34B to 34E followed closely by 32A to 32F.
A.T.P.: What does your average customer spend per visit?
S.P.: An average client visit will result in $500 or more worth of lovelies purchased.
A.T.P.: What trends are currently popular among your customers?
S.P.: High fashion collections that are colorful and unique are leading the trend for 2011 [as well as] beautiful colors such as green apple, tangerine, lemon, cotton candy pink, grape, smoky blue and various shades of brown. The most popular stylings are sheer demi cups paired with a tanga or boyshort. An obvious trend resurfacing is the accompaniment of garter belts and waist corsets combined with thigh-high stockings. Women and men alike are asking for these garments regularly.
Address: 10311 Main St., Bellevue, WA., 98004.