Lingerie retail has become increasingly competitive. D2C brands are disrupting the space, and more and more players — plenty of which operate online — are entering the market.
Despite these challenges, Busted Bra Shop, a lingerie retailer with multiple stores across Michigan and Illinois, continues to thrive.
Founded in 2013, Busted Bra Shop was started by Lee Padgett, who saw the need for a good underwear and bra store in the city of Detroit. The success of the first store prodded the company to expand, and today, Busted Bra Shop has five locations in two states, along with a strong ecommerce presence.
We recently caught up with Rachel Hackett, Busted’s regional manager, and asked her to share the steps that they take to make Busted successful.
It starts with knowledgeable and helpful associates
One of the things that keep customers coming back to Busted is the store’s knowledgeable and helpful staff. Rachel says that the company invests in educating associates about lingerie to enable them to serve shoppers better.
“We go to Curve, which is a bra convention in New York, and we attend Fit School there,” says Rachel.
The staff also spends a lot of time helping customers try different products and making sure that the bra they purchase fits their specific body type.
“We understand that it’s not just about the measurements,” she adds.
“We take measurements to get the fitting process started, but it’s not the only thing we do. It’s also about breast shape. So we understand things like, ‘Oh this brand or this style fits this certain body type really well’, or ‘This certain style fits really close-set breasts as opposed to farther apart-set breasts.’”
Armed with all that knowledge, Busted’s associates can ensure that each customer walks out of the store with a product they love.
Stocking hard to find products
Busted Bra Shop is also known for carrying unique and hard to find items.
“We carry a lot of colorful bras, which are often difficult to find especially in larger sizes,” Rachel explains.
She continues, “We also carry brands that are harder to find or aren’t really carried in this region. For example, we carry Empreinte, which is a French luxury brand. It’s like the crème de la crème of bras, and we’re the only store in the state of Michigan and in this region that carries that brand.”
Facilitating multi-store stock management and transfers
In addition to a great catalog, Busted offers services that make it easy for shoppers to get their hands on the products they want.
Busted’s staff members can facilitate ship-from-store services and multi-store stock transfers, so if a particular item isn’t available in one store, they can either ship it to the customer from another location or have the product sent to the store where the shopper can pick it up.
“It depends on the customer,” explains Rachel. “If they want it to be shipped, then we can just call that other store and they can ship it from there. But if they don’t want to pay for shipping or they want to try on the product first, we’ll have it transferred to the store.”
Busted implements the process with the help of Vend. Since Vend makes it easy to transfer stock between outlets, modifying inventory levels across different stores is a breeze.
As for physically transporting the goods, Rachel says that they’ve hired someone whose role is focused entirely on stock transfers.
“Now that we have five stores, we brought in someone specifically just to do transfers in between the stores.”
“She does that twice weekly right now, and she also helps with transporting products for online orders. So, if we get an online order and there are multiple items that come from different stores, she’ll grab those items and bring them to one store so we can have them in a single shipment rather than sending out five different packages.”
Keeping physical and digital retail tightly connected
Busted Bra Shop sells both online and offline using Vend’s integration with BigCommerce.
According to Rachel, the tight integration between the two platforms has helped Busted maintain a solid online and offline presence.
I like how easy it is with the BigCommerce integration to publish to the website. You can put all the information into Vend and then just press the Publish button and then it syncs so that you have the same information in both. You don’t have to worry about keeping up with two different systems. That’s really awesome.”
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Bringing it all together
Fabulous products and great customer service, coupled with a solid tech stack, are the perfect ingredients for retail success. Follow in the footsteps of Busted Bra Shop by ensuring that these aspects of your business are in top shape.
Need a retail management system to support your multi-store and multi-channel initiatives? Vend by Lightspeed’s commerce platform can ignite your business and take it to new heights. Take a trial or request a callback from our retail specialists.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.