In today's economy it has become more and more apparent that retailers have begun shying away from opening brick-and-mortar locations and have started up businesses online as an alternative.
In April 2008, Randa Rose made the decision to set up shop online and launched her lingerie business, Panties Required, with the hopes of offering her customers something she has become infatuated with: "girly, sexy and pretty underthings."
As a recent graduate of Los Angeles-based Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Rose began her career working in wardrobe on movie sets and music videos. "Soon after I got into styling for photo shoots. I worked for BCBG Corporate and felt I needed more of a challenge. Lingerie has always been my passion so I decided to quit my full time job to launch PantiesRequired.com. Working in lingerie came very natural to me," she said.
Brands offered at the store include Wendy Glez, Keep Me, Booty Parlor, Commando by Her Look, Fleur't and more. "Elle Macpherson bra and panty sets are my top sellers," said Rose. In fact, Rose believes that Elle Macpherson Intimates is currently the most popular brand in the industry. "The Cosabella ‘Ever’ low rise thong, Fleur't low thong and Eberjey sleepwear are also very popular," she added.
Panty and bra sets, boy shorts, robes and sleepwear are the most requested items by her customers, said Rose. "[My] customer is female in her early twenties through mid forties," she said. "She knows her style, is loyal to her favorite brands, is comfortable in her skin and loves to spoil herself. I have a loyal male clientele as well. They know that when they shop with us they will be in good hands!" Although Panties Required does not offer any men's styles at the moment, Rose hopes to carry men's underwear by the end of 2009.
The typical price range that a customer will spend on underwear and on a bra is $75 to $125, she said. The typical customer shops approximately four to five times a year and the most requested sizes are medium and 34C.
Recently, Rose has noticed an interesting trend in the industry. "Right now everyone wants basics! I believe it's because of the economy," she said. "People are more cautious when they are spending and they want to buy something that will get great use. The lacy fancy items are only being bought for special occasions now."
This April, Panties Required celebrated its one-year anniversary. "Lingerie has always been my passion and I wanted to launch my company at my own pace and not have to feel the immediate pressures of a start-up brick-and-mortar," explained Rose. "I really enjoy watching Panties Required grow every day and want to keep my focus on the website. Brick-and-mortar isn't a priority for me."