NEW YORK — The new 12,522-square-foot lingerie department in the Bloomingdale’s flagship here has hit a high note among shoppers since being unveiled on June 26, the retailer said.
“The customer response has been positive, and our team is enjoying selling in the new environment,” said Francine Klein, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of intimate apparel, accessories, cosmetics and shoes. “We are seeing increases in almost all of our major foundations and daywear businesses, as well as good results in designer and bridge sleepwear. New fall product is selling, and we are seeing increased sell-throughs in color, and anything with lace is selling well.”
Regarding best-selling foundations and daywear brands in the new intimates space, Klein said, “Our new brands such as La Perla and Huit have exceeded our expectations. Hanro, Wacoal, Chantelle and Elle Macpherson all have performed extremely well, and Calvin Klein Underwear, DKNY Underwear, Cosabella and Hanky Panky have been successful.”
Klein noted that top-selling labels “driving the sleepwear business” include Natori, and two licensed labels: Vera Wang Lingerie, which is produced by The Komar Co., and Lauren Ralph Lauren, manufactured by The Hochman Design Group.
Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s, told WWD in June that the goal of the new department was to increase overall sales by 15 to 20 percent. The challenge, though, would be to leverage sales without increasing the department’s real estate, in which the number of units on the selling floor have been cut to 35,000 from 55,000 for an updated, uncluttered look. At the same time, the sales force has been doubled to 93, as well as the number of fitting rooms, which now total 18 and encompass more than 1,500 square feet.
Bloomingdale’s executives would not give figures, but annual intimate apparel sales at the flagship are around $4.5 million, while combined yearly sales for innerwear at Bloomingdale’s 31 units nationwide are in excess of $60 million, according to industry estimates.
The chain’s executives hosted an official opening for the media last Tuesday, showing off the luxurious-looking cream and black interior design that was created by the design team, headed by Shane DiNapoli, to emulate the contemporary and trendy ambience of the New Bridge, New View ready-to-wear department that opened last September.
The main entrance features a soft-shop area of upscale Italian brand La Perla in a boudoir setting. Another soft-shop concept will be unveiled in September for high-end British label Agent Provocateur.
Special touches include boudoir furnishings; soft, cosmetic-like lighting; contemporary, full-length mirrors; hand-painted glass panels, and decorative brocade curtains that lend a salon-style elegance.
The idea of Bloomingdale’s ambitious remake of the intimates department is grounded on the success of the revamped rtw area, which combines the concept of designer and bridge brands, Gould said.
“I think the new lingerie floor is as much if not more of a transformation of the New Bridge, New View floor, where we featured Ralph Lauren Black Label and Burberry with Tory Burch and the Armani Collection,” he said. “In my mind, Francine has created a bridge and designer intimate apparel department.”