Ted Vayos, BODY: what important changes have been made to Freshpair.com?
Matthew Butlein: In August of 2012, we rebranded and relaunched Freshpair.com. We have united our varied assortment under specific customer segments, creating a personal shopping experience for everyone. Since the right undergarments are nothing without the correct fit, we have enhanced our Expert Advice sections and positioned ourselves as the industry go-to fit experts with valuable advice. With an on-site customer care team ready to assist, customers can call or e-mail in with any questions and be sure to receive top-notch service and assistance. We are also perfecting the bra fit experience with At Home Bra Fitting. Spearheaded by our expert bra fitter, Ms. Fit, customers can schedule a consultation to address any existing bra issues and Ms. Fit will not only guide them to a solution and correct size, but she’ll also send 10-20 bras for them to try in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Customers only pay for the styles they decide to keep and send back the rest at no cost. As we move into 2013 our goals are to empower customers and to help them feel confident. We keep this motto in the back of our minds when launching any marketing campaigns and programs. Customer confidence is key and we’re
determined to do everything in our power to promote it.
Ted: The online arena has become very crowded, why do customers come to Freshpair.com?
Matthew: Since 2000, people have been shopping at Freshpair for convenience, expert advice, and a wide selection of top-quality intimates and underwear for both men and women. We always offer a wide range of sizes and are committed to exceptional customer care. We offer a staff of carefully-recruited underwear experts and a reliable destination for shoppers who need assistance with bra fitting and underwear advice, as well as those who already know what they’re looking for.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Matthew: On the women’s side, what we look for in a brand is changing based on our customers’ needs. For our Sophisticated customer, we seek luxurious fabrics with an attention to detail—namely Simone Perele, Lou, and Chantelle. Our Classic segment encompasses a wide assortment of modern mainstays, including moderate to full coverage bras that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing such as Wacoal, Le Mystere, and Anita. Our Contemporary segment delivers a more youthful, flirty approach with fun, modern prints and colors from brands such as Calvin Klein, Freya, Panache, and Hanky Panky while our Legacy segment is committed to the tried and true silhouettes customers rely on, specifically brands such as Bali, Vanity Fair, and Glamorise.
On the men’s side, what we look for in a brand depends on customer needs we’re trying to address. We want to be able
to assemble a selection of merchandise tailored to each of our customers. For example, Calvin Klein and Emporio Armani
are important to our Designer customers who value quality and consistency; Hanes and Fruit of the Loom are designed
for the Classic guy as they offer extraordinary value in timeless styles; Diesel and C-in2 cater to the Bold customer who wants to be stylish from inside out; and Good Devil and Clever offer novelty options for those seeking a Thrill factor. In order to achieve a more curated destination, we strive to offer something for everyone and promote a wide assortment of styles and brands. We continue to focus on a buying direction that will allow us to grow as an expert in Designer, Classic, Bold, and Thrill segments. With that, be on a look out for some new additions to Freshpair, including Charles Archer, Pistol Pete, and Private Structure to name a few.
Ted: Describe popular styles or trends online in men’s and women’s intimates.
Matthew: For men, we have noticed an increasing demand in modal blend fabric. Almost every other brand now produces
underwear in this buttery-soft fabric that just feels amazing on. The continued growth in demand for men’s shapewear has also been interesting. We’ve also noticed that men’s underwear colors are still big, but designs are not as bold as they have been before. Multi-packs have also been a big hit amongst most of our men’s brands.
On the women’s side color and prints have been growing as a percentage of the overall business. Spacer bras have also become very popular, particularly in the warmer weather, due to their cooling technology and construction. We’ve also noticed that many brands have been offering bundle (buy more, save more) pricing programs on panties as a way to get the customer to increase their purchases.
Ted: What are online shoppers looking for in price points, quality and size ranges?
Matthew: In the women’s department, we’ve seen strong growth in the sizes that brick-and-mortar retailers aren’t able to stock due to space and demand restrictions.
On the men’s side, a good price point never hurts anybody and our customers love a great bargain. However, for our customers, quality and service are above all. Our return rates are extremely low compared to traditional retailers. This is because the team selects brands with a proven track record in consistently producing superior goods.
Ted: Freshpair created National Underwear Day, has the recession had an effect, how has it evolved?
Matthew: Freshpair founded National Underwear Day 11 years ago and the underwear revolution has been evolving ever since. Over the years we’ve celebrated the event with street guerilla marketing stunts and underwear-clad models to Times Square Fashion Shows and star-studded parties. Our sponsor brands have been extremely supportive with our initiatives and it’s their support that has helped elevate the event. As the recession hit, we naturally saw a decline in sponsorship amounts as a result of marketing budget cuts. Overall interest and support has been enduring and strong, and sponsor brands have been extremely accommodating in promoting National Underwear Day with the available resources.
As we begin 2013, we’re determined to continue to expand upon our mission and help everyone feel their best with the right fit. Be on the lookout for a lot of exciting new programs and efforts that will reflect this mission and help empower our customers. Confidence starts on the inside and we’re here to help provide the foundation to help everyone’s confidence show.