Lingerie retailer La Senza will ramp up its expansion plans as it unveils a raft of new product categories for spring 08.
Chief executive Rose Foster told Drapers she had earmarked more than 100 potential sites for the next three to five years. “I want to boost our presence in central London and the north-east, because we only have two stores in those areas,” she said. “The growth potential is huge.”
The average size of a La Senza store used to be 1,500sq ft, but Foster said it is now between 2,000sq ft and 2,500sq ft.
She added that La Senza’s new shopfit, which was unveiled in Enfield, north London, in December, had contributed to an uplift in sales. The retailer has also opened a shop with the new look in the Silverburn shopping centre near Glasgow.
Foster said: “The stores are performing above budget, especially the shop in Enfield.”
La Senza’s London Oxford Street flagship is next in line for the full refurbishment in March, while other shops, including the store in Milton Keynes, will get a cosmetic overhaul next month.
“A cosmetic refit is more cost-effective and includes changing the fascia and some fixtures, without embarking on a complete overhaul,” Foster said.
La Senza will also unveil a host of new product categories this season, after it appointed former Next marketing director Sue Myatt as creative director. Myatt, who joined last month, will act as a consultant.
The retailer will add leisurewear, maternity lingerie, girlswear and girls’ lingerie and cosmetics to its offer for spring 08, with the new categories hitting stores from March.
“The UK lingerie market is changing, with new European players and existing retailers adding lingerie to their offer, so it’s vital to maintain market share,” said Foster. “It’s tough, but we’ll work to stay ahead.”
Foster added that she will use the internet, which accounts for 7% of the business, to trial new product categories. La Senza has 176 stores in the UK.