By and  on November 12, 2007

No Nonsense is serious about recasting the company's brand image and expanding its product array.

The $250 million company, based in Greensboro, N.C., is marking 35 years in business and is going beyond its claim to fame — little orange packets of sheer hose — by launching product in updated packaging and its first advertising campaign in 10 years.

No Nonsense expects the moves to increase sales 10 percent in the next year and boost distribution 15 percent to 30,000 doors, primarily in the U.S.

A division of Kayser-Roth Corp., No Nonsense already has strong national exposure. It was listed at number eight on the 2007 WWD 100, an annual survey of consumer brand awareness. However, in 2004, the company felt its product offerings were stagnant and decided to explore ways to get it back into the realm of women's everyday needs.

"We knew we had to take No Nonsense to where it belonged, to a multicategory brand," said Julia Townsend, executive vice president and general manager of Kayser-Roth Corp. "So we added natural extensions — got into the sock and footless [hose] business and built a portfolio of legwear. We also added intimates. We added things like shoe solutions, liners and foot gels, and all kinds of things needed to wear with shoes."

This fall, the company launched its first collection of sports bras, panties and body shapers.

Townsend said No Nonsense, where hosiery once accounted for 90 percent of the portfolio, now has 50 percent of its offerings in hosiery, 45 percent in casual legwear and 5 percent in intimates.

The company has also struck a deal with Fashion Bug to produce and distribute an exclusive line of sleepwear. Shipments will begin in January to 1,100 units in 45 states. There will be additional deliveries for second- and third-quarter selling, Townsend said.

"The sleepwear collection will be colorful and modern, and very comfortable and easy to wear," Townsend said. "I think it's a youthful, contemporary approach. It's aimed at consumers in the 25-to-48 age range."

The sleepwear program will feature cotton T-shirts, boxers and cotton chemises. The collection will be print-driven with bold paisley motifs, dots and florals. Retail prices will range from $14.99 to $19.99.The company declined to give sales projections, but according to industry estimates, the line's first-year wholesale sales should exceed $5 million.

This month, No Nonsense inaugurated an ad campaign that celebrates the No Nonsense woman. It will run in magazines such as O, the Oprah Magazine, In Style and Glamour.

"No Nonsense women have hectic lives but want to look great," Townsend said. "They don't have all the time to focus just on shopping and dressing. They want practical solutions and want them fast. They have kids and husbands, and jobs and activities, and a lot to balance. We talked to these women and created a campaign called 'She.' It's really about her."

No Nonsense is also expanding its product offerings with an eye on innovation. It's releasing a moisture-management socks line in Wal-Mart stores and created temperature-controlled socks and shapers.

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