Lingerie brand Playtex has launched a range of half-size bras into the UK market, amid criticism from brands and buyers.
The Playtex MySize range, which was unveiled at the Harrogate Lingerie & Swimwear Exhibition in North Yorkshire this week, will offer half cup sizes in between the traditional A, B and C sizes. The styles were originally launched in the US in 2003.
Debbie Rix, general manager of Playtex UK, who headed the US launch, said the strategy offered consumers a more personalised fit. She said: "When we launched the concept in the US, the brand exploded. Turnover went up from US$10 million to US$70m (£5.1m to £35.7m)."
But some lingerie brands and buyers told Drapers that the new concept was nothing more than a gimmick. One retailer said: "The idea was dreamt up by a sales person who asked how he could sell twice as much to the same customer." He added that Playtex had increased its margins to support a £2m advertising campaign.
But another retailer thought the concept would succeed. He said: "We have half sizes for shoes and shirts, so why not for bras?"
The collection comprises three bras and six co-ordinating bottoms, with prices ranging from £3 to £11.