LONDON — U.K. department store John Lewis is guiding men through the daunting minefield of shopping for lingerie gifts.

This story first appeared in the April 6, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Last year, the store launched a “Lingerie Academy,” which it reran in February in time for Valentine’s Day at its Oxford Street flagship here. As part of the program, lingerie advisors guided men through what size and style of lingerie to choose for Valentine’s gifts. The store also transformed its lingerie department into a man-friendly zone, installing TVs, Wii consoles, leather sofas and fridges of chilled beer.

The store plans to repeat the program in December because the lingerie department racked up sales of just over 19,000 pounds, or $27,000 at current exchange, on the day of the February event. That represented a 2 percent boost to sales compared with the same day the previous year.

“There was a definite increase in the number of men in the department and you could tell they seemed a lot more comfortable than usual,” said Stacey Crump, section manager at the Oxford Street store. “I recognized faces from last year’s academy and they had a much better idea of what they wanted this time round.”

Crump said the Elle Macpherson Intimates collection proved particularly popular, and sales of John Lewis’ own label lingerie more than doubled on the day.

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