Lingerie etailer Figleaves is trialling its first physical retail offer with a concession in Allders in Croydon.
The trial, which stocks own-brand underwear and swimwear, opened last week, and could be rolled out to other department stores if successful.
Figleaves chief executive Julia Reynolds said the trial will allow some customers to get a feel for the product and push its own-brand.
“We are now 20% own-brand and we have had feedback saying some customers want to see and feel the product,” she said. “It is part of the expansion of our brand.”
Reynolds said feedback so far had been strong and other concessions would be considered. However, she said the etailer is not plotting any standalone shops at present. “We are not in that place,” she said.
She added that after a tough 2009, this year has been “a lot better”, with sales in the past few weeks running ahead of the same time last year. “We are running the business better and the economy is better,” she said.
Finlay Clark, senior strategist for digital marketing specialist Bigmouthmedia, said Figleaves’ move from clicks to bricks could present the etailer with a good opportunity but warned that pure-plays can still scale better online.
“It is easier to grow your business online through more product and markets than with an avenue that brings new challenges,” he said.
Separately, Reynolds said that although there were no firm bidders at present for the company it is still looking into a potential sale after receiving several approaches earlier this year.
Figleaves has lined up corporate finance firm GP Bullhound to advise it but Reynolds said the etailer does not want to rush any process.