Why retailers should sell gift cards

JOG Swimwear

JOG Swimwear

Christmas is almost upon us, and director general of the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association, Andrew Johnson, is on a mission to support indecisive shoppers, fussy recipients and reactive retailers with his gift card insights. Here, he explains why all retailers should offer the ‘gift of choice’ for cash-conscious customers this Christmas Gift cards and vouchers are a great way to give a personal gift like lingerie without running the risk of the recipient not liking your choice. For example, you may have chosen the wrong colour, the wrong size, type, brand, shape and so on.

There is nothing worse than seeing a close friend or family member open a gift, only to find out that it is something they already have, don’t need, or dislike. Gift cards and vouchers are growing in popularity for this very reason, with more and more shoppers starting to see the appeal of this flexible gifting option.

Online shopping has now crept into our Christmas traditions, along with sitting down to a turkey and watching the Queen’s Speech. Research by the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association (UKGCVA) revealed that half of consumers are likely to give vouchers at Christmas time and more and more recipients are using their vouchers to buy gifts of their choosing as early as Boxing Day — and sometimes on Christmas Day itself.

It’s easy to see the appeal for customers who seek convenience above all. For shoppers, online vouchers can provide a whole extra day to make purchases, since eGift vouchers can be purchased online and delivered instantaneously via email or SMS. Consumers can therefore buy last-minute presents on Christmas day morning and still hand them out before lunchtime.

Of course, many people are also going online on December 25 to spend the vouchers they received in their Christmas stockings, as many high street chains now start their Boxing Day sales early online. Although this practice may seem unorthodox, online shopping on Christmas Day is fast becoming a new holiday tradition for many people.

JOG Swimwear

JOG Swimwear

Multi-channel shopping currently represents a major opportunity not only for lingerie store owners, but for all retailers. E-tail and business performance analysts Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini revealed that more than a third of all online retail sales are now made on a mobile device. Visits to e-tail websites via mobile devices are also increasing, with around half (48%) of consumers now visiting sites using a smartphone or tablet device.

To capitalise on this impressive growth across all channels, lingerie retailers should think about bringing their online proposition in-line with their store offering when it comes to promoting gift-giving at Christmas. For example, retailers in this sector may want to consider offering digital gift cards as part of their online and in-store promotions, so that consumers have the flexibility to redeem their vouchers both online and in-store.

Along with the flexibility that they provide for the recipient, gift cards and vouchers are also becoming a popular way for shoppers to budget for expensive gifts like luxury lingerie. The ease of purchasing gift cards and vouchers at various points during the year can help ensure that Christmas spending is distributed over a longer period of time, rather than relying solely on December’s pay packet to cover all the costs.

The gift cards and vouchers that have been accumulated over the course of the year can then be used for payment when buying Christmas presents. Using gift cards and vouchers as a savings tool can also help to make sure that shoppers don’t build up any unwanted debt.

At the beginning of the year, figures from the British Retail Consortium showed an overall UK retail sales growth of 2.8% in the three months from December 2013 to February 2014. By comparison, data published by the UKGCVA, taken from a report compiled by consultants at business advisory firm BDO, revealed that consumer gift card and voucher sales soared in the first quarter of 2014, growing by 17%, an increase that was far above expectations.

This result was a very positive start to the year and a sure sign that the gift card industry is gaining momentum, especially as the first period of any given year is often seen as a litmus test for what retailers can expect for the rest of the year ahead.

Last year, the UKGCVA predicted that £2 billion will be spent on gift cards and vouchers in the run up to Christmas; given the results of the start of the year, this figure is likely to be met. The industry has already seen the popularity of gift cards and vouchers, both online and physical, grow immensely in recent years and as a result Christmas 2014 is on track to be one of the strongest for the gift card industry to date.

Gift cards and vouchers enable consumers to give a personal gift to a loved one without worrying about finding the 100% perfect item every time. With lingerie especially, it is hard to get it completely right, so gift cards and vouchers offer the perfect way to make a loved one’s Christmas dreams come true by giving them the best gift of all – the gift of choice.

Source : http://www.lingerieinsight.com

Lingerie blogger launches online boutique

JOG Swimwear

JOG Swimwear

Lingerie blogger and fashion consultant Anastasia Ivanova has launched an online boutique specialising in non-wired bras.

The online store, named after Ivanova’s blog, Jeanne Pompadour, offers lingerie from selected brands, including Denmark’s Underprotection and Skivvies by Love & Lemons from the US.

Jeanne Pompadour will also stock the UK’s Cheek Frills from November 15 and US brand Araks from January.

Having previously worked as a PR for Myla and Coco de Mer, Ivanova launched her lingerie blog and fashion consultancy Jeanne Pompadour in 2013.

Source : www.lingerieinsight.com

French brand Huit to enter Harrods

Harrods

Harrods

French brand Huit has announced that it will be launching in Harrods.

The luxury label said it will deliver its SS15 lingerie collections to the Knightsbridge department store this month.

Huit lingerie designer Marie Courteault said: ”We are delighted for Huit to launch in Harrods. With the store having such an established reputation for the finest fashion brands, we believe the elegant and sophisticated styles of Huit will be a perfect fit for the store.

“Launching from November, Huit’s SS15 collections ooze simplicity, femininity and eye-catching French charm which are sure to entice the Harrods customers.”

Huit was established in France in 1960 and launched its first swimwear collection in 1970.

Source : http://www.lingerieinsight.com

Sadie Frost lingerie line attacked by critics

Sadie Frost

Sadie Frost

Sadie Frost has added a lingerie range to her Iris & Edie line, created exclusively for Debenhams.

The brand, named after her daughters, already encompasses pyjamas and loungewear, now includes brightly-coloured lace bras in sizes 30A-36DD and briefs in sizes 8-18.

But Frost has come under attack for involving Iris, 13 and Edie, 16 in the project.

Critics suggest the range potentially breaches the recommendations made by the 2011 Bailey Review into the sexualization of children.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Roz Hardie, chief executive of Object, which campaigns against the objectification of women in the media, said: “If Debenhams are proposing to sell see-through pants named after an under-16 year-old, then they’re not working within the spirit of the Bailey Review recommendations and we’d call on them to review their proposals.”

But Debenhams, which has carried the brand for three years, was quick to defend the new lingerie collection.

“The ranges in question are aimed solely at adults, and are sold in our women’s nightwear and lingerie departments. We have sold this brand for three years, and it has always been marketed entirely to the young adult market,” the department store said in a statement.

“We stock a range of age-appropriate underwear and nightwear for younger teenage girls in line with all relevant guidance from the British Retail Consortium and Mumsnet, and these are sold in our childrenswear department.”

Source : www.lingerieinsight.com

Miranda Kerr previews second Wonderbra campaign

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr has revealed a sneak preview of her latest lingerie campaign with Wonderbra.

The supermodel, who departed Victoria’s Secret last year, posted a picture on Instagram yesterday from a new shoot, which took place in South Korea on Thursday.

In the picture, Kerr wears a navy push-up bra and matching lacy knickers.

This is Kerr’s second campaign with Wonderbra after modelling for the brand in March.

The model will host a Wonderbra Wire-free Package event later this week at the Myeong-dong department store where her ‘Miranda Kerr with Wonderbra’ appearance is being hosted.

Source : lingerieinsight.com

Heidi to replace Elle as Bendon partner

Elle Macpherson Heidi Klum

Elle Macpherson Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum will launch her own lingerie line with New Zealand group Bendon, replacing Elle Macpherson as its Intimates partner and creative director.

The Heidi Klum Intimates line will launch in January and is expected to double business for Bendon in the next five years.

“It’s unique to be able to take a brand and convert it to another name that you believe will grow the line exponentially,” Justin Davis-Rice, chief executive officer of Bendon told Womenswear Daily, noting that Elle Macpherson represents 20% of the company’s business.

Klum’s deal will include HKMAN and Heidi by Heidi Klum, replacing The Body line.

Macpherson will depart the Bendon group on December 31 after a 25-year partnership and expand her three underwear lines – Elle Macpherson Intimates, Macpherson Men and The Body – in America, the supermodel has confirmed.

She also has plans to enter activewear, swimwear and plus- and petite-size categories.

“I am very proud of the brands which I created and nurtured for the past 25 years and thank the Bendon Group, who has been supportive to the success of my brands,” said Macpherson.

“I am relocating to the US with my family and I’m excited about energizing the further growth of the brands in the US market.”

Macpherson will continue to operate with new, unnamed, partners and existing designs and intellectual property currently under EMI remain with Bendon and will transfer to its new brand, Heidi Klum Intimates.

Source : http://www.lingerieinsight.com