Drapers swung by Mary Portas’ stand at Pure London this week, to chat knickers, the high street and her House of Fraser clothing range.
Q: You are here today promoting Kinky Knickers, how is the business doing?
A: The people we took on at the start of the programme are all still with us and we have now got 32 staff there.
Q: Do you have any plans to expand the factory?
A: We might have to look at opening a second premises if demand continues in the same way. We might look at expanding the range in terms of the shapes but we are not looking at doing anything else except knickers. We want to make these the most famous knickers in the world before we look at doing anything else.
Q: How is your clothing range doing in House of Fraser?
A: It is doing brilliantly, it is going to be in 10 House of Fraser stores by the end of spring. I have been putting the customer at the heart of everything I have been trying to do with that range and because of that the response has been great. I have got a great relationship with House of Fraser as well.
Q: What else is keeping you busy?
A: At the moment my main focus is looking at the regeneration of the high street. I have been travelling up and down the country looking at what the different town teams are doing. This week alone I have been in Loughborough, Bedminster and Nelson.
Q: What are you finding on your travels?
A: Every 50 years the way we shop changes. There is always going to be a shift and a change. It is not all about the internet, we as humans really like to socialise and that isn’t going to go away. In the future the high street will be a mix of multifunctional shops that work in conjunction with the internet.
Q: What do you think a high street of the future will look like?
A: There is no one answer. Different towns will have different things that work for them. This is an opportunity for everyone to have their say about what they want their town or high street to look like in the future.
Q: What has been the most important thing you have learnt from this process?
A: All of the people involved in the regeneration of their high streets are doing this for nothing. People are absolutely committed to regenerating their communities. When I was in Loughborough, 27 different towns came together and all of these people were wanting to make improvements to their towns. It is really quite humbling.