Rigby & Peller Proves Why Brick and Mortar Stores Matter
By ELLEN LEWIS
It was unexpected: my visit to the Rigby & Peller store in downtown NYC last week. I was in the market scoping our fall lingerie stories and spring 2020 highlights. My objective was to get an overview from Van de Velde’s Prima Donna, Marie Jo and Andres Sarda collections. I usually do this in the showroom, but this time, Michele Kearns, the recently appointed Senior Marketing Manager for the US Rigby and Peller initiative, invited me to meet with her team on site. It was worth the journey.
Before spending several hours at the store, the Rigby & Peller brand conjured up one meaning to me. For years it was the holy underwear grail of the Royal family in the UK; clearly quality, perhaps a bit dusty, and not relatable to the contemporary market. This perception was slightly undermined when my 20 something niece (32 G) tried on a Rigby and Peller bra while shopping with me at Harrods in London a few years ago. She looked amazing and begged me to buy her the bra.
Nonetheless, I never saw the label on a pathway to USA foundations business. Now however, I think the myth has been dispelled. Using the legacy of the Rigby & Peller moniker, the company has positioned itself in 8 east coast urban locations as a destination for a highly curated lingerie selection. Premier brands such as Empreinte, Christine Silk, Simone Perele, Samantha Chang and a few more share real estate with the Prima Donna, Marie Jo and Sarda assortments. Rigby and Peller’s subtle and sophisticated demeanor reflects the noble elegance of its moniker but in a relaxed modern appeal. Spending time there was a comfortable experience.
Retail success or the lack of it, in brick and mortar venues is a major topic of industry conversation lately. E-Commerce has upped the ante and is definitely a conundrum for intimate apparel marketing. The saving grace, in my opinion, for bra shopping, is the issue of Fit. Fit still remains a critically personal part of the bra business and no algorithm, no matter how insightful, can substitute for the one on one experience in the privacy of the dressing room. Perhaps that is why some of the best on line sites are putting down stakes. How serendipitous: the Rigby & Peller name, the Van de Velde expertise and some of the best in class brands woven together to raise the bar for lingerie shopping.
“Your Premium Brand Better Be Delivering Something Special
Or It’s Not Going To Get The Business”