Some women seek alternatives to the mall when shopping for basics, while others splurge on exquisitely constructed pieces for a special occasion. But, whatever your forte is, Panty Raid comes to the rescue and fulfills all lingerie needs.
Before Jen Abercrombie opened Panty Raid in December 2002, she was a freelance graphic designer with little retail experience. But she decided to open the boutique after noticing a need for a specialty lingerie store in her part of Los Angeles.
"When I opened, there were very few businesses on the block, but now we have a great restaurant, wine store, clothing store, yoga studio and nail spa, all of which opened after we did, so it's become quite a popular spot," said Abercrombie. Among the store's slew of brands, customer favorites are Cosabella, Huit and Mary Green. "Hanky Panky low-rise lace thongs are [also] always big sellers, especially when we get bright colors," said Abercrombie. "Their [Hanky Panky's] lace boyshorts do very well in basic colors, and during the warmer months, nude strapless bras and slips fly out the door."
When Panty Raid opened six years ago, customers gravitated to boyshorts, but now, the boutique is seeing a trend toward bikinis and styles with slightly less coverage, and they are responding to the requests.
"We are seeing a lot of rompers and one-piece sleepwear styles, plus a few lines have had cute teddies," Abercrombie saod. "This is a trend I personally love. Bright day-glo color has been showing up and I look forward to seeing more, like the Hanky Panky low-rise thong in shocking pink."
Another interesting trend, Abercrombie reports, is the large amount of requests for smaller band sizes than women are used to wearing. "There is a trend in the industry toward fitting women into smaller bands and bigger cups, so a 34-B becomes a 32-C and so on, and often these women can wear both sizes comfortably with a pleasing look."
Panty Raid uses its website and ever-growing email list to communicate directly with customers about new items, sales and events. And even postcard mailings have been implemented along with print ads in local weekly newspapers to get the word out, especially during the holidays.
And during Valentine's Day, Panty Raid offers Panty-Grams, where the retailer selects a special panty each year to be ordered online and delivered locally.
But if shopping for lingerie is too mushy for the special guy in a woman's life, there's a special section for him.
Known as the "boyfriend corner," the area is laced with Playstation video games and magazines where men can hang out while their significant other shops.
"Even though it's lingerie, it's still shopping, so men want a place to relax, and it allows women to take their time and shop," Abercrombie said.
Among the shoppers are customers who pop in for something basic and spend approximately $40, but ever so often women splurge on bra and panty sets and spend $500 or more.
"Some [customers] come in once a month to see what's new and pick up one or two items, and some come in once a year to stock up," Abercrombie said.
But whatever the desire, Panty Raid takes pride in fulfilling all lingerie needs.