(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). The Forever Group is a Canadian intimate apparel solutions products company that focuses on smaller specialty stores with a collection of products that include one particularly interesting and unique item.
“I think a big part of our success and longevity is we built our following working with independents and today they still make up 80+% of our sales,” explained founder Robert French. “It was easier in the early days as our competitors were all going after the chains and department stores and weren’t servicing the independents. We were able to get a foothold by offering great quality, fair prices and quick delivery for small orders. It also helps that we offer both fashion care and fashion fit solutions in one stop. Retailers are able to combine our brands in one order and reach free shipping easier.”
The company’s offerings include silicone enhancers, bra accessories, breast petals, bra straps, bra adjusters and underarm liners as well as garment and lingerie washes. The Group’s unique items are all wool balls that go into the drying machine along with clothing . “They work to reduce static cling by absorbing moisture from clothing in the dryer, maintaining a more humid environment and, therefore, cutting down on static build up,” according to the company description.
Retail prices for a package, or “barn,” of three balls, as they call the box they come in, is $18.99. The Splash Swimsuit Wash comes in two sizes: “100ml and 280ml that retail for $4.99 and $8.99,” indicated French, when asked to provide some sample prices. “Our 3M Body tape in a tape dispenser retails for $9.99.” The entire range of sections can be examined on the company’s website at http://theforevergroup.com.
The Forever Group launched in 1985 when French was 22. “I founded the company after I left Dartmouth,” he explained. “At one point, I did leave for a few years to work with Burt’s Bees when they were just beginning and set up Canadian distribution and later took them into Asia and Europe. During that time my wife Jennifer Lewis managed our lingerie brands. After Burt’s Bees was sold I took two well earned years break to raise my kids. I decided to reengage with the brands I started and returned to launch a series of new specialty laundry products using some of the formulation and natural ingredients knowledge I learned at Burt’s Bees.”
The company will be exhibiting at the upcoming Curve show in New York. “We used to do all the shows before 2008 including Paris and Lyon,” remembered French. “Now we are slowly returning to the Curve shows and did both Vegas and NYC last August.”
Asked why, with all the other solutions products collections on the market, retailers should be interested in his assortment, French replied: “that’s a great question. In the beginning it wasn’t as competitive. Now, with the ease of ordering from China over the internet there are more competitors selling accessories and many of the chains are selling their own private label brands. Fashion Care is a different matter as it is not easy to formulate a product that is both gentle and cleans well. We have seen several lingerie companies and PL brands try and make their own brand but they never seem to last.”
As might be expected from that answer, French is not heavily involved in private label himself. “Our clothing care brands are all branded. We have experimented in the past with PL (we made product for Nordstrom at one time) but found that it didn’t sell. We have earned a lot of goodwill and brand equity for our clothing care products over the years based on performance. That translates into trust and you don’t get that just because you have a colorful package or exotic fragrance. You earn it. We have done PL for some of the accessories. For example our Body Tape is made in Canada using 3M tape. I can’t say who we make it for but it is a non lingerie chain. We actually export it to Hong Kong and China. They don’t trust their own adhesive when it comes to applying to their skin.”
Currently the company is open to discussing opportunities with independent sales reps and distributors. French will be at the upcoming Curve show in New York, along with the company’s head of design and branding, Jazmine Stephens. “Its really valuable to have her there to hear from customers directly what they want and what we can do better.” Contact him at (416) 630-3415 x222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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