According to Hope Bear and Farrell Friedenberg, co-owners of the Philadelphia-area intimates boutique Jay Ann Intimates, in order to succeed in the corset and bustier category a retailer must carry a large range of sizes to accommodate women with full busts; (the store fits sizes 32A to 54DD). Also key is carrying garments that are smooth and others with boning. Jay Ann’s has offered corsets to customers since its inception 60 years ago, and today the category makes up 25 percent of sales and inventory.
They reported that the demand for corsets and bustiers has not decreased during difficult times. “Even though the economy has taken its toll on retailers, people are still celebrating happy times in their life and there is a demand for corsets and bustiers for those ‘special’ occasion dresses.” When asked how the economy has affected their buying, they remarked: “We always have a wide range of garments in stock so the economy has not affected our buying for most corsets. Of course, we only purchase high-end corsets if there is a request, we do not keep an inventory of these in stock.
“Our customers are opting more for the mid-priced corsets and we always suggest wearing it on their honeymoon with a cute wrap or shrug so that they get more than one wearing. We occasionally order custom corsets from Axeford Corsets in London that retail for $300.”
The store’s typical customer for the category is a bride, mother of the bride, or woman who is attending a very special occasion from her 20’s to 60’s.
When asked what brand is the most innovative in the market, they said: “Panache has developed a beautiful garment; however [it is] intricate to put on and off.” The brand is among the stores top five best-sellers in the category, along with Dominique; Goddess; Elomi; and Elila.
They called fit the most important aspect of a corset, and price as the least important. “Women want to look good for special events and they will spend money to achieve the look that they want.”
In terms of trends, they said full-cup corsets are becoming a thing of the past as dresses become more revealing. “[They] need to be lower in the front as well as accommodate fuller-busted women.”
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written by Amanda Torres Price published 2009-11-04 09:01:29
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