(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Soma’s parent, Chico’s FAS, aiming to capture some younger customers, is launching a new “digital-first brand, TellTale” on April 24. While Soma has, in the past, described itself as targeting women 35 and older, TellTale is “an intimate apparel collection targeting women ages 25 to 40.”
“TellTale allows us to target new customers and offer them a different experience than what we offer through our Soma brand intimate apparel,” explained Mary van Praag, president of the Intimate Apparel Group at Chico’s. Kimberly Grabel, who was hired as SVP for marketing at Soma in mid 2016, is the general manager and SVP of TellTale. According to her Linkedin profile she shifted to that position in July of 2018.
The new collection will begin by “offering of six key bra silhouettes which will be replicated consistently across varied fashion collections with matching undies,” and “all bra styles will carry signature details, including rose gold TellTale trim and four different closure placements.” Initial sizing will be 32A-40DD and XS to XL and most will be priced between $39 and $49.
Chico’s believes that new brand’s “quality/style/value equation will address a gap in the market today for affordable, well-constructed, fashionable bras.”
“TellTale enables us to capitalize on our intimate’s infrastructure with core, proven expertise already in place, addressing a true white space in a growing market,” offered Chico’s CEO Shelley Broader. “The retail environment is shifting rapidly, and we believe that the winners long-term will be those that have a healthy pipeline of innovation – including innovative approaches to doing business.”
Chico’s launched Soma in 2004 and rapidly added stores over the next decade. While it began this year with 277 locations, it recently announced a shift in emphasis to digital sales and its intention to close about 60 of the lingerie stores over the next three years.
In announcing the TellTale launch, Chico’s pointed to Grabel’s “25 years of strategic, brand-building experience, most recently serving as senior vice president of marketing at Soma, where she led the brand’s repositioning. Prior to Soma, she led the marketing department at Holt Renfrew and Saks Fifth Avenue.” In its last two fiscal quarters Soma has posted comparable sales growth. Prior to that, however, it had registered negative comps for five quarters in a row.
An examination of the new brand’s website, mytelltale.com, reveals it will utilize a “discovery quiz” to help the marketers discern what kind of a bra visitors would prefer. One of the handful of questions is: “Astrology is definitely not a thing, right? But, just to be safe, what’s your zodiac sign?” Another, “If you could pack your bags and jet off right now, which of these would you visit?” The choice of answers includes: “mountain,” “cabin,” “nyc,” “island” and “spa.” Another question: “What brings you joy?” The choice of answers: “night-in,” “romantic-night,” “creativity,” “yoga,” “dog,” and “night-out.” — NM
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