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New Ballet brand to offer higher margins

Lingerie brand and supplier Ballet has launched a new brand for spring 11 in response to demand from indies for lingerie that offers higher mark-ups and more design detail.

Letters From Evie will have a wholesale price range of £3.37 to £12.50, with bras averaging £7.50. Ballet will recommend a 2.8 mark-up, which is significantly higher than the 2.04 mark-up for the Ballet brand.

“We’re competing for a slice of a [lingerie] market that is smaller than it was a year ago,” said Ballet sales director Jo Stockdale. “The value aspect for the retailer is key and we want to offer indies the sort of mark-ups that multiples get from own-label product.”

Stockdale said Ballet would also target its multiple customers, such as department stores Debenhams and John Lewis, with Letters from Evie, which targets women aged 25-plus.

“We don’t want people to see it as another Freya or Cleo-type brand, because it’s not that young, and is edgier,” added Stockdale.

Letters From Evie features 1950s vintage styling and uses lace and embellishment detail. It will launch as a small collection comprising five bra and brief sets, three bikinis and a swimsuit, which will be delivered in three drops in January, February and March. The collection is likely to be expanded for autumn 11.

Stockdale said: “We’ve created a very British brand to tap into the trend for British heritage styling and set it apart from all the French-look lingerie.”

The brand is available in cup sizes B to E but will also offer exclusive ranges for larger retailers in sizes up to a G-cup and in a broader range of colours.

Stockdale added that demand for Ballet’s private-label product was growing as retailers who had sourced directly from factories to cut costs returned to third-party suppliers, which had better economies of scale after struggling with rising materials and labour prices.

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