But while the two companies could hardly be more different in their target markets – Figleaves offers fashion and designer ranges to more affluent customers while N Brown is best known for its plus-size and value brands – industry observers believe the two businesses are a good fit.
“The tie up would make sense from a demographic perspective,” Michelle Strutton, head of UK beauty, fashion & household research at Mintel, told just-style.
For its part, N Brown says the deal will consolidate its position as the UK’s number one online lingerie retailer, as well as expanding its brand portfolio to appeal to more ‘premium’ shoppers.
But Strutton also notes the age profile of Figleaves website visitors “is slightly older than average,” which is in line with N Brown catering to the older and plus-sized market.
“This can only be helpful to N Brown if they want to tap into this market – which does seem to have been more cushioned from the recession,” Strutton says.
She also points out that Figleaves has extended its reach into loungewear and other clothing areas, “so N Brown is able to look at its various catalogue ranges to see which ones best suit the Figleaves shopper.”
A positive stepThe move is also seen as a good one by Carly Syme, retail analyst at Verdict Research, who describes the acquisition as “a positive step for both companies.”
She says they each offer a wide range of sizes which are not readily available on the high street. Figleaves, for example, sells over 100 brands in sizes ranging from AA to K cup and 28″-56″ back size.
Though N Brown already sells underwear on several of its sites, including www.classicdetail.com which offers mostly underwear, she told just-style: “Figleaves provides an opportunity to expand on N Brown’s existing customer base and increase its share of the market.”
If you’re at all interested in company demographics (which I certainly am when it comes to lingerie, beauty and the apparel industry), you might see some things here that explain a bit more about what you do and do not find at Figleaves (and N Brown). …There are assumptions (yes, corporate beliefs that make “asses out of u and me”) in those demographics.
Perhaps I ought not point them out, or even mock them… After all, if Figleaves is the “UK’s number one lingerie retailer,” they probably don’t think they need my help. (But why stop at #1? Or the UK?)
Amazing how I can still beat the “real” sites, even when I’m typing perched on my cat’s scratching post. *wink*