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La Senza eyes up younger women to drive expansion

La Senza plans to double its bricks-and-mortar presence over the next five years, with new-look stores and a focus on a younger customer.

The 57-store chain, which was bought out of administration by Kuwait retail group Alshaya in January 2012, is now setting its sights on becoming the UK’s biggest young fashion lingerie retailer.

Speaking to Drapers, La Senza business director Sharon Horth said the last year had been spent refitting stores and refreshing the product offer to better meet the demands of its target demographic.

Horth explained: “Globally, La Senza sits somewhere between Pink and Victoria’s Secret in terms of age - the
La Senza customer is in her 20s and so we’ve changed the product to reflect this.”

La Senza has widened the pricing architecture of its lingerie at the top end to incorporate more fashion styles, as well as more ‘three for £10’ offers at the bottom end.

For example, the amount of solution items, such as low-back bras, and basic lingerie products has been reduced, while the number of “fun, younger styles, which include a lot more colour” has been increased.

Meanwhile, La Senza has reduced its range of cup sizes to a maximum of double D on most styles, going up to an E on limited pieces.

“Large cup sizes and solution product are not what we are about,” Horth added.

La Senza has now refitted 50 of its 57 stores and plans to refit a further four or five this year, including its Leeds branch, which is being relocated to the Trinity Leeds development in March.

From 2014 onwards the store portfolio will be expanded. Horth said La Senza had the potential to double
its store count in the next five years. Although she declined to specify any locations, she noted that the lingerie business’s “optimum store size” was around 2,000 sq ft.

“We’ve launched our flagship pin-up concept [inspired by 1950s pin-up girls] store in Marble Arch at the end of last year so we’ll wait to see what kind of reaction we get to that,” she said.

Retail prices at La Senza range from £6 for knickers up to £39 for the most expensive bra style.

Alshaya, which acts as a franchise partner for La Senza’s US owner Limited Brands, also owns lingerie chains Victoria’s Secret and Pink.

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