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Price cutting helps drive Charnos and Lepel sales

Lingerie brand house LF Intimates is targeting a 20% increase in sales within the next year, driven by overseas expansion and a revamp of product and pricing of its Charnos and Lepel brands.

LF Intimates, which was created by fabric supplier Linwood to buy the Charnos and Lepel brands last September following the administration of lingerie supplier Intimas, has made a strong start to its second financial year, which began this month.

Sales of its autumn 10 product were up 15% year on year for Charnos and 10% for Lepel.

Managing director Aileen Webster said profits had also exceeded targets, despite the implementation of a strategy to lower wholesale prices on some Charnos products by about £1 to bring the brand in line with competitors such as Fantasie and Freya.

Wholesale prices now range from £6.83 to £24.39.

Webster added: “Autumn 10 was the first season in which the new team influenced ranges. We eliminated the worst-selling pieces and turned around new designs faster to introduce more fashion ranges. We also upgraded fabrication and added more trims.”

Charnos has signed 50 new accounts for autumn 10 including indie department stores Austins of Newton Abbot in Devon and Hoopers, which has five stores, while Lepel grew through increased sales to existing accounts.

LF Intimates, which also has an own-label operation, will launch a marketing website for Lepel in the autumn. The Charnos website will also be relaunched with interactive elements such as competitions and blogs. Neither will be transactional.

Four distributors have been signed for spring 11 to take Charnos into Scandinavia, Poland, Denmark and Turkey. Lepel, which already sells in Scandinavia, will be taken into Italy by Charnos’s Italian distributor.

Webster added that she was in talks with two large premium department store chains to carry Charnos, which has 368 UK accounts, for spring 11.

Lepel has 351 UK accounts including John Lewis and Asos.

LF Intimates will drop prices on more selected pieces - again by about £1 - for spring 11 through better sourcing and will expand both the Charnos and Lepel collections.

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