By  on December 9, 2011

Journelle has opened its fourth specialty store, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The newest location is part of an ambitious plan by chief executive officer Claire Chambers to open as many as 100 units nationwide over the next decade.

“I’ve had my eye on the Upper East Side for a long time. It’s the best fit in the whole city for us,” said Chambers. “One of the reasons we like that stretch of Third Avenue is it’s where people live, take their kids to school, or go to yoga — it’s a great mix.”

The 1,200-square-foot lingerie boutique is projected to generate sales of $1.2 million during the first year, said Chambers. She would not comment on annual volume generated at the other three units — one in Miami and two in New York City — but noted that initial sales projections had been reached.

Chambers, who said she gets her financing from a team of retail consultants and private investors, opened an 1,800-square-foot shop in SoHo in November 2010, a 2,500-square-foot store in Miami in February 2010 and a 2,000-square-foot unit in the Flatiron District in December 2007. Chambers told WWD at the opening of the Miami store that she anticipated first-year sales of $1.6 million based on the store’s high visibility and foot traffic on Lincoln Road. First-year sales estimates for the Flatiron unit on East 17th Street were $1.4 million.

The newest store, located at the corner of Third Avenue and East 73rd Street, is rendered in signature white oak floors that are “very warm and light but not too Scandinavian looking,” and open-work custom cabinetry where bras, undies and related boudoir items can be displayed and neatly organized.

“We’re in a corner location for the first time with two rows of windows….We didn’t want the East 73rd Street side to look like a fishbowl so we displayed light boxes with images,” she explained.

Chambers described her target consumer as affluent in the 30-to-40 age range.

“It’s been a real education for me.…Who is this customer on the Upper East Side? She’s affluent but not really living in a Park Avenue penthouse, she’s living in an apartment on the river…our customer is well educated, professional, likes taking care of herself, is fashion-forward and buys lingerie for special occasions and everyday,” she said.

Since the store’s Thanksgiving opening, several classifications have received strong reaction: new T-shirt bra styles by Chantelle and Simone Perele, allover lace and lace-and-silk full-slips by Jenny Packham, and a variety of novelty and everyday undies by Hanky Panky, Eberjey, Commando and La Perla.

Chambers said she stocks a range of fashion and basic merchandise and brands for all occasions.

“Women need all types of lingerie in their wardrobes. One of the clients I had at the first-day opening said, ‘Oh, my God!’ Now, I don’t have to go to a department store anymore,’” said Chambers.

As for branching out into e-commerce, the retailer relaunched in 2010.

“We did just under $1 million in [e-commerce] sales this year and we see it as one of our areas of growth,” she said.

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