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Rigby & Peller to triple store base in UK and Ireland

Lingerie business Rigby & Peller is looking to more than triple the size of its UK and Ireland store portfolio within the next five years as it targets a broader client base.

Managing director Ella Hitchins, who was retail development director at Ralph Lauren for almost four years before joining Rigby & Peller in March, told Drapers she aims to increase the number of UK stores from nine to between 30 and 40.

A selection will be run on a franchise model, although Hitchins could not yet say how many. Partners will be sought from the second half of next year, focusing on locations outside London.

Rigby & Peller already has five stores in the capital – on Conduit Street, Knightsbridge, Westfield London, King’s Road and Bow Lane – and three in Guildford, Bluewater in Kent, Cambridge and Harrogate. It also has 10 stores in Germany, two in Denmark and two in Hong Kong.

Hitchins said the business, which since 2011 has been controlled by Belgian lingerie firm Van de Velde, was on the verge of signing a sixth London store and will look to open four in the UK and Ireland next year, before accelerating expansion in 2016.

Possible locations include Richmond upon Thames, St John’s Wood, Notting Hill and Wimbledon Village in London, Bath, Bristol, northern England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Rigby & Peller, which targets 30-something professional women, stocks 23 lingerie, sleepwear and swim brands including its eponymous own brand, PrimaDonna, Marjolaine, Simone Pérèle and Aubade. Prices excluding its made-to-measure service range from £57 for a bra to £300 for a silk nightgown.

Hitchins said it is looking to bring in brands with a slightly lower entry price – such as Stella McCartney – to make the business “more accessible”.

By next autumn Rigby & Peller will look to expand its own brand offer, which currently only includes swimwear. It also plans to introduce hosiery brands and increase its sleepwear and swimwear offers.

The Conduit Street and Knightsbridge stores will be refitted next year.

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