Hanky Panky targets French underwear market
Spur-of-the-moment, trend-driven purchasing supported by merchandising that demystifies lingerie: this is Hanky Panky's credo. The US underwear label is relying on such an approach to take over the French market. Hanky Panky launched the initiative this summer, which is finally taking shape in French stores this autumn.
While previously it was just the case of a handful of French stores, supplied directly from the US headquarters, this time the label has started a genuine expansion strategy, after recruiting its first representatives for Paris and South-Eastern France last July. The French expansion drive is in the hands of the distributor for Spain and Portugal, Sandra & Co., and has kicked off at pace: already 80 multi-brand retailers are handling the brand this autumn.
Among them, a few household names such as Parisian concept store Merci and soon the Le Bon Marché department store. At the latter, Hanky Panky will open a pop-up store on 17th October, running until the holidays, followed by a permanent corner next May. In parallel, new representatives will be recruited to cover the whole of France by 2017.
"France has given a fine welcome to our launch; this market, where lingerie is normally something highly institutionalised, seems to be about to change," explained Sandra Macaya, who is in charge of the label's distributor. "Our lingerie is very fashion, it reacts quickly to new trends, it is comfy and easy, and it meets new consumer requirements," she stated.
Yet France is one of the rare European countries where the US label is not present. It gained a toehold on the Italian market 10 years ago, and it is now available in about 20 European countries. "Actually, Hanky Panky's strategy is always to attack a market by targeting department stores, it is our basic commercial policy," explained Sandra Macaya. "Except that in France, they are especially difficult to convince... This is why it took us some time, before we struck a deal with Le Bon Marché," she said.
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