Q&A with Carol Iannelli, president and Alyssa Jill Friedberg, Manager
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store for our readers.
Carole Iannelli: Madison Salina’s Lingerie store is located on Merrick road. Merrick road more or less hits every town from Long Beach to Montauk. This makes our store not only easy to locate but much of the passing traffic become potential customers. Our store is unique yet elegant, sporting a big green sign that surely can’t be missed. In the neighborhoods closest to us reside upscale middle class family’s. We enjoy being a part of that local community and being the closest go-to people for our specialties. Though there are many stores up and down Merrick Road, little cater to the same categories as we do.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Carole: Before you walk into our store, you might think to yourself ‘Just lingerie’ right?, wrong. Our store also specializes in Bras, Bridal, Hosiery, Shapewear, Accessories and more. We also do personalized bra fittings and cater to sizes 32AA-52I. Our bras range from countries world wide, including Belgian, France and U.S.A. Unlike many department stores, we are always willing to provide our undivided and personal attention to our customers. Often we are complimented on the comfort level and knowledge of our staff. We take much pride in our kindness and helpful suggestions.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Carole: When ordering from new intimate apparel brands, you really need to ask yourself questions like, ‘is this going to sell?’ and ‘who is this going to appeal to?’. When choosing from a new intimate apparel brand I prefer that they are prepared to answer any questions and inquiries I may have. It is also helpful when they express their top sellers. Many of our more sensual, exotic items are from company’s like Shirley’s of Hollywood and Leg Avenue. We also carry “conservative” lingerie and bridal sets, for this we use company’s such as Flora Nikrooz. A few of the important brands for bras include Prima Donna, whose company is Belgian based. Chantelle, whose company is based in France and Wacoal, whose company is based in the U.S.A. Recently we have just brought in a new company called Escante. Their products have many different styles, all very feminine looking. We carry many other products beside intimate apparel including bras, shapewear, bridal sets, hosiery, novelties and jewelry. As a retailer, product wise no companies have disappointed me. Their are some company’s that could use a bit more structure to their ordering and sales methods.
Ted: Describe the popular styles or trends in your store.
Carole: In our area the styles have a very wide range. Commonly business casual due to the thriving local businesses in our area. Also more than often, there’s the comfortable yet presentable look(i.e yoga pants, tee shirts, sweaters). Brand named purses and jewelry are always quite popular here as well.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Carole: At Madison Salina’s, we know that it can be hard to find bras when your aren’t the ‘average’ size. We can help. From 32AA to 52I we make it easy and comfortable to find the right bra for you. Our lingerie ranges from sizes small to 4X. The bras and lingerie we sell vary in price. Vaguely our prices range from $50.00 to $200.00.
Ted: What is your typical or average customer size?
Carole: In our store the most common sizes are 36D-42D, although everyday is different and often all sizes are seen. We carry 32AA to 52I and S-4X.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit?
Carole: An average customer usually spends about $150 per visit at our store.
Ted: Describe your customer.
Carole: Our clientele is mostly woman. Ranging from teenagers to the more mature woman and even the elderly. However, it is common that men shop at Madison Salina’s also. The ratio would be 75% woman to 25% men.
Ted: What has impacted your store the most over the past year?
Carole: In the past year our area was heavily effected by hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, our store was damaged harshly. We couldn’t re-open after that. With all hope on the edge for the business and much else, we got to work. This was not an easy task. With help from the community and 3 months of hard work we finally had our store back. New, improved and re-modeled. This not only boosted and helped our sales but expanded our clientele. Because of the storm, people chose to support local business over all others.