When Charming Shoppes bought Lane Bryant in 2001, it acquired the brand's intimate label, Cacique. The plus sized line of intimates and sleepwear quickly started to bring in a greater sales percentage than was expected, prompting Charming Shoppes to expand upon the small label.
The first Cacique store opened in September 2005 in the Pembroke Pines Mall just outside of Miami, Florida. At the start of 2009, there were already 130 Cacique stores across 35 states, up from about 80 in August of 2007.
Each Cacique store provides an intimate and feminine environment for women to shop for lingerie. "The design is very feminine with nice color palettes and soft lighting," said Gayle Coolick, director of investor relations for Charming Shoppes. "At the same time the design is very functional. It is laid out so that sizes, silhouettes or styles are easy to find."
Cacique organizes products within the store by silhouette and fabrication. "It depends on the store," said Heather McGarry, marketing coordinator for Lane Bryant. Silhouettes include cotton smooth, lace and full coverage.
Organization in each of these four categories is handled through a drawer system that helps women easily find the style they want in the size that is right for them.
Size and fit being two of the most important qualities of a bra, all of the store's associates are highly trained in bra fitting techniques.
Other special features in the store include appropriately sized mannequins and roomy dressing rooms with 3-way lighted mirrors. Cacique has also employed its drawer system in the dressing room to allow women to try alternate styles and sizes without having to leave.
"The age group ranges from 20 to 45-years-old but we get folks younger and older than that," said Coolick. "She is a fashion conscious woman in her 20's, 30's and 40's. Being in fashion and having the right garment for her lifestyle is important to her."
While 99 percent of the store is comprised of the Cacique brand, McGarry states the stores also carry a full line of Spanx shapewear to flatter all figures.
According to Coolick, Cacique intimate apparel accounts for 25 percent of total sales at Lane Bryant. "Cacique is a significant component of Lane Bryant stores," she said.
"Cacique is the premiere intimate apparel leader for full figured women," said McGarry. "The collection includes bras, panties, shapewear, sleepwear, corsets and camis in a full plus-size range. With basic everyday styles and sexy fashion pieces, Cacique offers the perfect fit for every woman.