NEW YORK — The arrival of the Wonderbra at Macy’s Herald Square Monday had some of the hoopla usually associated with rock stars.
Security vehicles, men with walkie-talkies and cheerleaders waving placards crammed the Broadway entrance as two huge boxes marked Wonderbra were carried into the store.
After Macy’s, the caravan, including an armored car and a black stretch limousine with bright yellow Wonderbra flags, went on to Abraham & Straus at A&S Plaza and to Lord & Taylor.
The three stores are doing a preview launch for the cleavage-enhancing bra, made by Sara Lee Intimates. And the hype proved effective.
A spokesman for A&S said that by 3 p.m., the store had sold about 400 Wonderbras out of an allotment of 1,000. He said he anticipated that business would be more active during the evening rush.
“We’ve even had several phone orders asking us to hold aside the Wonderbras,” the spokesman said.
Lavelle Olexa, Lord & Taylor’s senior vice president of fashion merchandising, said that before the event started, there were about 50 people waiting outside the store’s Fifth Avenue entrance, and dozens of others waiting in the lingerie department before the bras arrived.
“There was a strong, steady flow, and we were very pleased with the reaction,” Olexa said, although declining to say how many units were sold.
As for Macy’s, about 100 people gathered in front of the store’s entrance and a band played loudly as the armored car carrying the undergarments pulled up. Models helped carry two giant yellow boxes to the third-floor lingerie department.
Upstairs, next to a new Wonderbra corner, Michael Stemen, president of Macy’s Herald Square, introduced Nancy Brennick, Wonderbra’s director of fashion merchandising, and Caroline Moss, Macy’s ready-to-wear fashion director. Twins modeled matching ensembles, one of them in a Wonderbra. Its properties must have been impressive, at least to the women who rushed the displays afterwards, some lining up to be measured and others simply grabbing whatever they could find in their size.
A Macy’s spokeswoman declined to give a sales figure.
The bra has been sold in the U.K. for 25 years under a license held by Gossard. The license reverted at the end of last year to Sara Lee, which is now introducing it to the U.S., with general distribution slated for August. At the same time, other makers are introducing their versions of cleavage enhancers, including Gossard’s own Wonderbra replacement, the Super-Uplift, which had its U.S. debut in March.