By Ali Cudby
Hot town, summer in the city! When the temperature goes up, I get more questions about bra care. Maybe you do, as well. Helping customers understand care for their bras helps you, as a retailer, to become a trusted adviser to your customers. I’m surprised when retailers don’t think to explain bra care to the women who shop with them.
Adding bra care products is not only an opportunity to offer information, but also up-sell. How you share the information is critical. Rather than taking a sales-oriented approach, be a source of education for your customers, so they see you looking out for their interests. Sharing bra care tidbits allows everyone to win.
Give a Bra a Break
Heat is an elastic-killer. When a bra sits on a body for many hours at a time, stuck somewhere in the 95 to 100 degree range, it can start to affect the elastins in the bra. The best thing customers can do for their bras are give them a rest by wearing them at least every other day. Bras should not be worn two days in a row.
The method women use to wash their bras plays directly into how long their bras will last. This is where products can make a difference.
Every customer should understand the importance of quality lingerie wash. “When your customers are making a significant investment in lingerie from your boutique its important to be able to offer a premium delicate wash to them. Having choices in scents is nice but the most critical thing to remember is providing a wash product that will help preserve the life of their pieces, which they will see as an added value,” says Jennifer Edgar of Eucalan Inc.
Lingerie wash is unique compared to washing formulas specifically designed for other fabrics, such as wool. The properties needed to hand wash wool differ from what’s needed for elastic and other delicate materials like silk or lace. There are a number of great washes for lingerie out there, including Forever New, Eucalan, and Soak.
Many women simply can’t be bothered to hand wash their delicates. These customers can be shown how to launder bras in a lingerie bag. Personally, I love the Forever New lingerie bags. They are big enough to fit a few bras at once, and have a bright pink zipper which is easy to locate.
Here’s the key to properly using lingerie bags: Don’t stuff them. Leave plenty of room for your delicates to move around, so the water and cleaning agent have room to move freely through the garments. That’s what gets them clean.
There are always new products hitting the market to improve bra care. The bra ball is another option for bra laundering, and increasingly available in larger sizes.
Which products should you choose for your store? Jacqueline Sava, of Soak Wash shares some tips, “First and foremost the products should match the aesthetics of the store. It’s merchandising after all. Pretty products sell. Look for extensive media support, like high resolution images, great POP displays, customer focused social media and product knowledge from your suppliers, as well as active blogging, instagram, pinterest and tweeting from key brand advocates.”
Women should always air-dry their bras and never use the dryer. Putting lingerie of any kind in a hot dryer is like sentencing it to death. However, innovation is even coming to bra drying! Information about a new product called the Bra Dryer recently crossed my desk, and I look forward to learning more about it and reporting back in this forum.
Ultimately, when sharing bra laundering tips with your customers, an information-based approach will be seen more as customer care and less as pushy upselling.