As lingerie correspondent at Drapers, the lingerie trade shows are some of my favourite fairs to visit. With the autumn 08 buying season now upon us, it gave me the urge to hit some lingerie independents to do some serious shopping.
Having recently moved to north-west London, I decided to check out my local high street, which has two lingerie indies within yards of each other. And, as I discovered, both are excellent and target different markets.
The first, Miss Lala's Boudoir, is slightly more upmarket and has - to state the obvious - a "boudoir" feel. It's a small, cluttered shop, but in a cosy sort of way - a bit like a bedroom. Knickers are displayed in open drawers and the shop, which is predominantly pink, is decorated with lots of odd bits of furniture. It makes you feel like you're trawling through a bit of a treasure trove. In the run-up to Christmas, it was also offering customers a mince pie to munch on while they shopped.
Being a bit more niche, Miss Lala's Boudoir accepts that its product is not for everyone, so the shop assistant was quick to point out that Keturah Brown, just down the road, offers a more mainstream collection and suggested that I pop along.
And she was right. It's a completely different shop, but I had an equally positive shopping experience there. The owner knew her brands, trends and the market inside out, and was able to find me the perfect bra to fit the description I gave her. It was quite possibly the best customer service I've ever experienced.
Have you had a great shopping experience recently? Or, if you're a retailer, how do you keep your customers happy? We'd love to hear your comments.