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Valentine’s Day stirs mixed emotions for lingerie indies

Trading in the run-up to Valentine’s Day was mixed at lingerie independents, with some reporting a 100% increase in sales while others traded flat.

At Lace in Bakewell in Derbyshire, owner Sue Haywood told Drapers that sales during the past three weeks were up 100% on the same time last year. “On Valentine’s Day itself we were absolutely crazy,” she said. “We saw a lot more men than last year, who bought into pinks and reds. Plunge bras have been very popular, and Aubade’s Matilda bra has sold out.”

Sarah Connelly, store manager of Boudiche in Edinburgh, said sales had doubled on the day before Valentine’s Day compared with the same day in 2007. “What was interesting this year was that women were buying vouchers for their husbands to encourage them to choose underwear for them,” she said. “We sold out of suspenders, and lacy styles also did well.”

Connelly added that online sales had also doubled in the three days leading up to Valentine’s Day. “Unlike Christmas, Valentine’s Day shopping is very last minute,” she said.

Sally McGann, owner of Fit to Bust in Leeds, said 15 male customers visited her store in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, who each spent between £150 and £350. She said that men now favoured the internet for buying lingerie. “I don’t think men buy as much lingerie for their partners for Valentine’s Day in store any more – they would rather order online,” she added.

McGann said that chocolate brown and polka dot styles were bestsellers, with Marie Jo, Prima Donna and Lise Charmel the most popular brands.

However, Christine McEwan, manager of Adorne in St Helier in Jersey, said that her sales were in line with last year.

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