Change Lingerie franchise continues to grow
There are few retail businesses in Ireland that are showing double digit growth on sales year on year on existing stores. Change Lingerie is one of these businesses.
In the teeth of Ireland’s worst ever recession Change Lingerie is weathering the retail storm exceptionally well. Some of this is due to being in the right retail market which is not prone to a downturn in sales when incomes drop. Every woman needs underwear! Indeed reasonably priced lingerie has been shown to actually grow sales in recession as the woman chooses to buy an affordable lingerie set instead of a full new outfit.
But, says Emmet Bergin, director of Change Lingerie, there are other factors too. “We’ve dropped our prices right across our range by about 25%, with support from our parent company in Scandinavia. We and they realise that the Irish market will continue to be about affordability. The price drop has had an immediate impact on sales.”
“We’re also getting much more profile in newspapers and online, as the demise of la Senza and other multibrand lingerie stores leaves the market open for our brand.”
Bergin has been running Change for more than 5 years, establishing his own stores in Dublin and says that Change Lingerie is truly tested in the Irish market. “We’ve got two owner operator Change franchises in Dundalk and Galway who are in business and doing well for more than a year now. We know the concept works – it is in 150 stores around the world – and now we’ve got evidence from Ireland too.”
Bergin says that the strengths of the Change business are clear. “We’ve got a great selection of sizing from A to K cup and up to a 44 back which women simply cannot get in other stores except from ordering online to the UK. Our pricing is exceptionally competitive from just €14.95 for our younger Chic range. Our design is world class. Our stores are very well laid out. And we’ve got an extremely low cost store set up package that, if the woman is working in the store and the rent to location is good, guarantees profitability from year one.”
Despite the economic gloom Change is looking to expand extensively in 2012. They have targeted Cork, city centre, west and south Dublin, Midlands, Sligo, Clonmel, Tralee, Waterford, Kilkenny and Belfast and Derry as obvious locations for a new Change lingerie store but other mid-sized towns can also be considered. With exciting benefits such as a loyalty card system (which presently has 15,000 Club Change members) and an online selling platform as well as the fact that rents are more affordable means that this may be just the “perfect time” according to Bergin to take on your own store as part of the Change business in Ireland.