‘Rigby & Peller began life as a corsetiere business with one atelier and has evolved over the years to become predominately ready-to-wear,’ says Mark Warren, Retail Director. ‘Eighty years later, we respect the past but we also embrace the future. There is certainly still a demand for our brand and its unique shopping experience – we don’t simply fit lingerie, we style it, with our Lingerie Stylists having to complete a six-month training programme.’
Founded in London all those years ago, the brand has remained London- centric, with five of its nine British boutiques based in the capital; there are also stores in Bluewater, Cambridge, Harrogate and Guildford. Rigby & Peller is currently exploring demand in other parts of the country, looking at opportunities to broaden its geographic mix. Since the acquisition by Van de Velde, it has experienced international expansion throughout Europe, the US and Asia with more than 30 Rigby & Peller stores in prime locations, all under the umbrella of ‘Rigby & Peller – Lingerie Stylists London’.
One of the biggest challenges every retailer currently faces is declining footfall. This means that, more than ever, a brand needs to make every customer count – not just those who visit the high street stores, but also those who shop online. A bra should make you look and feel comfortable, confident and beautiful, with no straps cutting in, no gaping and no pinching: Rigby & Peller’s website carries detailed advice on how to achieve this by ensuring that customers order the correct size – though nothing, it points out, can take the place of an in-store fitting by a trained Lingerie Stylist. Customers can also make fitting appointments via the website.
‘There are lots of ways for us to embrace technology, to bring the in-store experience online but also to bring digital aspects to the boutiques as well to provide a seamless omnichannel experience for our clients,’ says Natasha Wood, eComm Manager.
One thing is certain: whether accessed instore or online, the service that Rigby & Peller pioneered of fitting lingerie to customers’ bodies, lifestyle and personalities remains at the core of its business – and will do so for the next 80 years.