Lingerie manufacturer Van de Velde will change the name of its onerous American retail subsidiary Intimacy into Rigby & Peller. The Schellebelle-based group now wants to use the successful Rigby & Peller brand to seduce the American woman.
"Largest market for bigger cup sizes"
Van de Velde's American retail subsidiary, Intimacy, has been off-track for years. "The numbers do not lie", CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere told De Tijd when discussing the 6-months results: Intimacy's turnover dropped another 4.7 % in local currencies. On a like-for-like basis, the drop even reached 10.3 %. "We have given Intimacy a lot of time, but if the numbers keep dwindling, we will have to intervene. We cannot give up the United States as it is the largest market for bigger cup sizes.
The 16 American Intimacy stores will close on 15 September, to clear the way for its affiliate chain Rigby & Peller, a brand Van de Velde acquired in the summer of 2011. It built up the successful international brand from London into a chain of boutiques across the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong and China.
The Queen, Lady Gaga and Scarlett Johansson
"We are giving the new Intimacy all the time and chances it needed, which is more than a couple of months, but not 5 years. If it does not work, we need to think of creative solutions", Ignace Van Doorselaere said. He does believe in Rigby & Peller: "Its name does wonders for our brand's credibility."
Rigby & Peller is a brand name that refers to a lingerie store that opened in London 75 years ago and which broke to the forefront in the 1960's when it became an official supplier to Elizabeth II. Not only the Queen and the late Margaret Thatcher have dressed in Rigby & Peller, singer Lady Gaga and actress Scarlett Johansson have done so as well.
Despite its worrisome American subsidiary, Van de Velde has done well in the first part of the year. Its REBITDA grew 6.3 % to 36.4 million euro, its best result ever. Consolidated turnover reached 113.4 million euro, up 6 % compared to the same period last year, even up 8.2 % on a like-for-like basis.