How is the lingerie industry doing? Signals and stories are mixed from various industry sources. On the manufacturing front, relocation stories continue. US lingerie giant Frederick’s of Hollywood is moving their remaining US manufacturing to the Philippines. In response to unprecedented macro economic conditions, Frederick’s is “continuing to reduce operating expenses, primarily through reductions in personnel,” said executive chair Peter Cole. While Frederick’s looks to reduce their operational costs, other US manufacturers have shut down including Prima Lingerie Inc., New Waves Apparel Inc., Blue Horizon Logistics & Sourcing Inc. and Sensuous Lingerie Inc. (from Dennis D. Estopace)
Retailers have mixed reports. In a press release BeCheeky reports “a 75% increase in sales volume and an 85% increase in turnover on prime Mega Monday - 8th December 2008, compared with the same day in 2007. The lingerie specialists are now set to be 50% up this December on last, impressively bucking current retail trends, and highlighting how promising growth opportunities can still be found.” (BeCheeky Press Release). In the US, dismal figures were released the day after Christmas. “Overall apparel sales were down 19.7 percent, with women’s apparel dragging down the sector with an astonishing 22.7 percent decline.” Additionally, apparently bad news for luxury lingerie retailers: “Sales of luxury goods at jewelry, leather and department stores dropped 34.5 percent.” (ABC News)
In the UK, retailer John Lewis reported “improved sales in the final four days before Christmas. Its department store sales rose by 2.5 percent between December 21 and December 24. The store benefited from strong sales of items such as iPods, fragrance and lingerie.” (Times Online)
The trade show sector will suffer with Lingerie America’s shutting down.