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Timing: Why UK lingerie market blooms in May

What time of year is the most lingerie on discount? And when do the most new products arrive into store? We reveal all, using commercial data to drive retail insight.

Understanding the retail cadence around a particular category is vital for merchandisers planning timing and location of their stock. It also helps navigate promotional activity and discounting. EDITD customers have the benefit of full market visibility of retail activity – understanding nuances in the seasons and identify the best time for action, ahead of the pack.Auto-generated by Cecil.

Plotting the number of new arrivals in the lingerie category each month reveals May to be the month with the highest amount of retail activity. January is in second place – interesting to note that Valentine’s stock is not the highest point of newness in the year.

June is the month with the most discounting – and levels of new products drop accordingly. Post-Valentines, March is the month with the second highest rate of discounting, and is met with a large pause in newness – a tricky sale patch for retailers to navigate.

The highest number of lingerie products selling out occurs in August, also the month with the second lowest discounting – an encouraging sign that sell outs in August are fully priced stock.

UK-lingerie-market-retail-calendar

Whilst so many categories are bound to the weather – and have suffered lately from mild winters or delayed starts to summer – lingerie will be worn regardless of temperature (mostly!). This places the category in a safe spot, bolstered by the popularity of mass market erotica 50 Shades of Grey, and a mainstream understanding of burlesque. Lingerie is great for gifting, and is also a way for women to spend money on themselves without the decadence of a noticeably-new handbag or bling jewellery.

Best in Visual Merchandising

The timing and tone of communications is also critical. As market leaders, Figleaves are fantastic at communicating their offering sending between 6 and 10 email newsletters a month. They’re very good at generating a story with these newsletters, with clearly differentiated trends being spotlighted, such as Vintage Luxe, Strap and Frame, Very Berry and Blue Ink this season. Newsletters highlighting these trends have a mood board feel, showing inspirational imagery, color palettes and stylised shoots with product, as well as clickable flat lay imagery. Figleaves are also great at promotions, running intermittent free delivery, 25% checkout codes and £10 off a £40 spend campaigns – just frequently enough to encourage shopping without devaluing brand.

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The UK’s second largest lingerie retailer, House of Fraser, rarely dedicate email newsletters solely to the promotion of lingerie (a newsletter of the 3rd October was their first email this year dedicated to the category at full-price). Instead, they opt for the occasional product imagery amongst other category new arrivals. Even during the run up to Valentine’s the retailer didn’t dedicate sole space to their underwear category. They should back their offering in communication as confidently as they do with stock.

Want to know more about the lingerie category, or any other? Talk to one of our product specialists today.