Q&A with Shannon Dewitt, Key Buyer.
Number of stores: 3
Location: Ft. Wayne, IN.
Year opened: 1997
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Shannon Dewitt: Boudoir Noir is a place where men, women, and couples can find a comfortable yet fun environment to shop for everything romance. Upon entering the store customers are greated by one of our knowledgeable staff members. Our open layout and soft yet edgy décor lends a sense of fun and excitement. We give our customers a chance to explore the store first, before we step in to answer any questions they may have. We carry a wide range of products including clubwear, eveningwear, lingerie, shapewear, costumes and role play items, shoes, accessories, hosiery and wigs. We also carry a large selection of adult novelty items and offer adult sex education and product education classes year-round in our private classroom. Our store is located in a busy commercial district with easy access from Interstate 69 for customers travelling from surrounding areas.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Shannon: What makes Boudoir Noir stand out is our dedication to customer service. From the floor layout to our highly trained staff, we create a relaxing environment for our customers to feel at ease as they browse through our large selection of products. Our knowledgable staff is always ready to answer questions about every one of our products. We also offer a fun learning experience through our adult sex education and product education classes in our private classroom. At Boudoir Noir we carry a wide variety of products that are both high quality and affordable. We want our customers to feel they only need to make one stop to find all their romance needs.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Shannon: In choosing our brands we look for quality, price, functionality and style. We are always looking to supply products and styles that you can’t find anywhere else. We have dropped several vendors over the years due to poor quality and over-saturation in our market. We carry a large number of brands, but some of our favorites are Coquette, iCollection, PipeDream, Magic Silk, Male Power, and Minor Creations to name a few.
Ted: Describe popular styles or trends in your store.
Shannon: Some of the more popular styles in our stores are role play & fantasy costumes and teddies. This year we have seen an increasing popularity in our burlesque styles as we have seen an increase in the number of burlesque troops in the area (several of which we sponsor). Basics have always remained very popular here and we see a lot of customers sticking to a more simple style of lingerie. We carry a large selection of queen size, but we have seen an increase in demand from our customers to see a wider variety of newer styles.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Shannon: Our price points are calculated for what is in the best interest of both our customer and our business. We will adjust pricing on certain items, for instance lowering a price point on a higher end item, to make it more affordable to our customers. We are not concerned about pricing versus our competition as much as customer satisfaction and affordability. We carry sizes from XS to 4X.
Ted: What is your average customer size?
Shannon: Our average customer size is ML to L.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit to your store?
Shannon: The average customer spends from $35 to $50 per visit.
Ted: Describe your customer base.
Shannon: Our customer base widely varies. We see an even male to female ratio. Our female customer base is usually between the ages of 18-45 years old, while the male is between 25-65 years old. Our customers vary from couples, to women shopping for bridal and bachelorette, to entertainers, to men shopping for gifts.
Ted: What other information would you like to share?
Shannon: We are a one stop shop for all styles of lingerie, but we also carry a large number of adult novelties and service every area in the adult market. We strive to maintain an image of respectability as the experts on all things adult. We are very active in our community, supporting organizations such as the SPCA and other local non-profit organizations supporting causes such as breast cancer awareness. We have also integrated Boudoir Noir into the local night scene by participating in night club and community events.