Lingerie Shop Business Plan

Clair de lune (moonlight in French) is a new, European influenced lingerie boutique that will provide high quality lingerie in a wide array of sizes and styles with exceptional customer service. The 1,300 square foot store will be located in Hawthorne Plaza in Southern Johnson County, Kansas. The demographics are suitably upscale, traffic counts are high, and compatible retailers offer qualified traffic and potential referral business.


The outlets for intimate apparel purchases in Kansas City are limited. There are mass merchandisers and discount stores that offer mass produced and lesser quality brands; department stores that offer better brands, but in limited sizes and with varying degrees of customer service; and 10 Victoria’s Secret stores which cater to the 18-34 age group with inconsistent quality and untrained store personnel. There are no lingerie boutiques serving the upper income, south Johnson County, Kansas and south Kansas City, Missouri area.

Market Potential:

Three target groups are identified in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this business plan, based on lingerie spending patterns. The three target groups are:

1. Women 25-59 with a household income of $75K+

2. Women 18-24

3. Brides

A common psychographic component that Clair de lune is targeting amongst all three groups is the Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE). An IAE is a woman who cares enough about her lingerie to want to shop at a specialty store, and is not purchasing her lingerie at Wal-Mart.

There are potential customers who fit these target descriptions within a five mile radius of our store location, which captures Hawthorne Plaza shoppers for impulse purchases, and within a fifteen mile radius for destination traffic. (See section 4.1).

Unique Selling Proposition:

A recent “Dear Abby” column quoted a desperate bra shopper complaining, “Why is it that if a woman wears a 32-A and really doesn’t need to wear a bra at all, she has her choice of white, black, beige, navy, shocking pink and turquoise, as well as plaids, polka dots and leopard prints? But if a woman is a 42-D (or more) and requires a bra every waking moment, she has a choice of – white.”

Clair de lune will solve this woman’s dilemma by offering a wide range of styles and sizes that she will not find elsewhere in Kansas City. The moderate to more expensive lines of lingerie offered by Clair de lune are known for quality silks, hand finished laces, and superior craftsmanship. We will be able to up-sell the Victoria’s Secret shopper to a higher quality product that they may have seen in a fashion magazine, by educating her on the better durability, construction, and fit, at a slightly higher price. A full description of Clair de lune’s product offerings can be found in Sections 3.1 and 5.1.

Clair de lune’s highly trained personnel will get to know each customer’s individual needs and will offer personal bra fitting and other special services, as described in more detail in Section 5.1.

Leadership and Vision:

The sole owner, Terry Levine, brings over 20 years of marketing and advertising experience which will be a tremendous asset in analyzing the customer and market potential, as well as in implementing a strong marketing plan, as outlined in Section 5.2. As a seasoned media strategist, she has a great grasp of numbers and will utilize her negotiating and relationship building skills with vendors and clients. She has extensive experience controlling costs for other businesses, with a natural penchant for watching the bottom line.

Terry will be guided in her inventory management decisions by Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy in Atlanta, an award winning lingerie store with over $5 million in sales. Susan will serve as a consultant for start-up inventory, inventory management, and other operational issues. She is widely recognized by vendors and customers alike as an icon in her field.

Financial Projections:

Clair de lune expects to produce $439,500 in the first year of operation, with aggressive growth projections of 15% in year two and 17% in year three, fueled by expanded product lines and aggressive marketing. The store is projected to become profitable during the second year of operation.

Lingerie Shop Business Plan Example

1.1 Objectives:

– Create a shopping environment where women (and men) feel comfortable, pampered, and stimulated by a wide array of choices to fill their needs.

– Utilize superior customer service to generate positive word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat sales.

– Give every customer personalized attention.

– Have 50% of customers return within six (6) months of their first purchase.

– Be considered for all planned Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE) purchases in southern Kansas City and Johnson County by the end of year two.

– Make clair de lune the top destination for bridal lingerie purchases by the end of year one.

– Achieve first-year gross sales of $425,000.

– Grow the business by 15% in year two.

1.2 Mission:

clair de lune is a specialty lingerie boutique that fills the void between Victoria’s Secret and department store selections in Kansas City. Our mission is to provide the discerning lingerie shopper with a comfortable, exciting, and satisfying shopping experience that meets their fit, comfort, and style preferences. We aim to create a strong connection with the Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE) and become their go-to lingerie store.

1.3 Keys to Success:

– Offer high-quality products with unique designs not found in other Kansas City outlets.

– Secure a prime location with high customer traffic, compatible stores, and easy accessibility.

– Understand the needs of clair de lune’s target customer and provide the right product mix.

– Offer a range of sizes, including plus sizes.

– Provide personalized customer service to generate positive recommendations and repeat business.

– Continuously monitor and adjust inventory levels.

– Educate customers on proper fitting and the value of higher priced brands.

– Offer a variety of price points to make all customers feel comfortable.

– Regularly change in-store and window displays to create a sense of novelty and encourage impulse purchases.

Company Summary:

clair de lune is a European-influenced lingerie boutique that offers quality merchandise and personalized service to Intimate Apparel Enthusiasts (IAEs). It will open in September in a 1,300 square foot space in the Hawthorne Plaza shopping center in Overland Park, Kansas.

2.1 Hours of Operation:

Exact hours of operation will be determined based on the schedules of other women’s apparel retailers in the shopping center. We will also consider holiday hours and special group opportunities to maximize exposure and sales potential.

2.2 Company Ownership:

clair de lune will be a privately held S corporation owned by Terry Levine, a retail industry specialist with over 20 years of marketing and advertising experience. Ms. Levine will work full-time as the owner/operator, responsible for running the business, sales, and buying. She will be assisted by a 3/4 time store manager and part-time salespeople.

2.3 Location:

The right location is crucial for the success of a lingerie boutique. We have selected the Hawthorne Plaza shopping center in Overland Park, Kansas, as it meets our criteria:

– Desirable demographics

– Strong foot traffic

– Complementary retailers

– Open-air mall or neighborhood center

– Successful retail reputation

– Easy access via primary streets

Hawthorne Plaza is located in Johnson County, one of the wealthiest counties in the nation and a rapidly growing population. The median household income of shoppers at Hawthorne Plaza is $83,820, higher than any other major shopping center in Kansas City. The mall is also frequented by our target age groups (25-54). With over 200,000 people living within a five-mile radius and its proximity to other popular destinations, Hawthorne Plaza offers an ideal location for clair de lune. The mall features a mix of specialty stores, including women’s apparel, swimwear, bridal, perfume, hair salon, and jewelry stores. It is considered a "go-to center" for sophisticated shoppers.

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2.4 Start-up Summary:

– clair de lune will open with several months of inventory, making it the majority of the company’s assets.

– Start-up expenses include $100,000 for inventory and $45,100 to build-out the store and prepare it for operations (fixtures, signage, Point of Sale system, packaging, supplies, etc.).

– Sufficient working capital will be secured to cover the running costs for the first 2-3 months.

– The total start-up requirements are estimated to be $171,750, financed through owner investment, a ten-year SBA loan, and a short-term revolving line-of-credit for inventory replenishment and new purchases.

Lingerie Shop Business Plan Example

Start-up Requirements Start-up Expenses Legal $1,000 Logo, Stationery, Business Cards $1,500 Utilities & Telephone $2,000 Packaging/Sacks/Boxes $2,500 Hangers $300 Business Supplies $600 Real Estate Attorney $2,000 CPA $500 Grand Opening Event $3,000 Signage $1,500 POS System $3,500 Bank Card Machine & Supplies $400 Build-out $15,000 Business & Inventory Insurance $2,500 Travel-Market Buying Trips $2,250 Other $0 Total Start-up Expenses $38,550 Start-up Assets Cash Required $18,200 Start-up Inventory $100,000 Other Current Assets $0 Long-term Assets $15,000 Total Assets $133,200 Total Requirements $171,750

Start-up Funding Start-up Expenses to Fund $38,550 Start-up Assets to Fund $133,200 Total Funding Required $171,750

Assets Non-cash Assets from Start-up $115,000 Cash Requirements from Start-up $18,200 Additional Cash Raised $0 Cash Balance on Starting Date $18,200 Total Assets $133,200

Liabilities and Capital Liabilities Current Borrowing $0 Long-term Liabilities $150,000 Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills) $0 Other Current Liabilities (interest-free) $0 Total Liabilities $150,000

Capital Planned Investment Investment Cash–Terry Levine $21,750 Investor 2 $0 Other $0 Additional Investment Requirement $0 Total Planned Investment $21,750 Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses) ($38,550) Total Capital ($16,800) Total Capital and Liabilities $133,200 Total Funding $171,750

Products The right mix of products has previously been identified as one of the keys to success for clair de lune. The importance of delivering products that meet the needs and desires of our customers cannot be underestimated. clair de lune will carry quality European and U.S. labeled products that are unique to the Kansas City market. Part of the excitement of shopping at clair de lune will be that our customers will find merchandise that they will not find anywhere else in Kansas City. Our customers may be familiar with some of the brands from shopping on the coasts, on the Internet or seeing them in fashion magazines, but they will not see many, if any, in other local retail outlets. The quality of the products will be evident in the fabric, structure, and design. clair de lune’s knowledgeable staff will educate our customers on unfamiliar brands that offer design elements and fit to which they have not previously been exposed. The depth of brands will enable clair de lune to show our customers what will work best for them in terms of size, style, fit, design, fabric, and price. clair de lune will carry a wide range of prices from moderate to upscale. We want to be in reach of the Victoria’s Secret shopper who spends an average of $30 on a bra. But we also want the opportunity to upsell her to a higher quality line by demonstrating the brand/price/value relationship. The QuickBooks inventory management software will allow us to track what is selling on a daily basis, and identify hot performers as well as "dogs." We will also solicit customer feedback and invite suggestions for new offerings. We have taken two precautions to establish the right product mix upfront. We have engaged the services of Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy in Atlanta, GA to serve as buying consultant for the initial inventory order. Susan has been in the retail lingerie business for 12 years, and operates an extremely successful 2,700 sq. ft. store which won an award as Intima Magazine’s Top Lingerie Store in the U.S. in 2004. She has expanded her current store location once, and is acquiring a second store in the fall.We will hold a Shoppers Focus Group to gain feedback on product offerings, price points, brand awareness, and buying patterns of Kansas City women. The focus group will consist of 10 women representing different age groups and lifestyles.

3.1 Merchandise Assortment

Bras & Panties: The mainstay of our inventory will be bras and panties. In order for any woman to feel that clair de lune is "her lingerie store," we must be able to meet her needs for basics, as well as special occasion lingerie. According to Women’s Wear Daily, bras and panties represented the majority of all intimate apparel sales at 57% of the total dollar volume, and we expect that it will lead the volume for clair de lune as well. Panties have become a particularly hot item over the past couple of years, with a strong consumer demand for fashion coordinates. Women are stocking up on multiple pairs of panties to match each bra or camisole, knowing that styles are rapidly changing. According to NPD Group, panty sales increased 7.8% from 2002 to 2003. The biggest growth is the boy leg and boy brief silhouette. The styling appeals to the junior market in colorful prints and appliques as well as the misses market with a lacier model sometimes referred to as a Tanga panty. Most manufacturers are anticipating another strong season for thongs. clair de lune will have displays that feature a complete array of panty silhouettes including classic briefs, bikinis, hi-cut briefs, boy-shorts, g-strings, v-strings, and more. This will allow customers to mix and match panties with any item, depending on the style they prefer. Industry resources typically estimate that 7 out of 10 women wear the wrong bra. clair de lune will be known for expertise in bra fitting as well as carrying a large range of styles and sizes. We will stock AA-J cup sizes and band width to at least 48 and possibly higher. We will special order other sizes as needed. Prices will range from $35 to $150, with the greatest depth in the $45-$80 range. Daywear: Daywear sales were up 27% in 2003 according to Women’s Wear Daily. The lines continue to blur between innerwear and ready-to-wear with many women choosing to wear their lingerie outside of the home. Daywear is an important impulse purchase as well as gift-giving item. clair de lune will be well stocked in beautiful camisoles, lacy shells, and sleeveless and sleeved tops to inspire special purchases. Nightwear/At-Homewear: The appetite for comfortable, cocooning clothes has continued to increase post-September 11. Add to this the increased interest in wellness and exercise that has spurred yoga wear to crossover to street-wear and at-homewear, and the advances in softer, multifunctional microfibers that feel great against the skin, and you have a great formula for increased sales in this category. According to the NPD Group, the youth market drove the growth of sleepwear and at-homewear in 2002 and 2003. In the 13-17 and 18-34 age groups, sales rose by double digits, while sales were down by less than 10% for consumers 35 to 54 and 55 or older. The styles in loungewear are less unkempt and more flattering. They have cleaner lines and are more put together and very acceptable to wear for casual activities outside of the home. clair de lune will offer nightshirts, pajamas, loungewear, and robes in mostly lightweight fabrics. Initially, we will not buy very deeply in this category until we get a better read on what our customers desire. There are more outlets for these types of products in Kansas City, so we may choose to minimize our offerings in this category, other than during the holiday gift buying season in the 4th quarter. Bridal: We expect bridal to be a big category for clair de lune since the opportunity for personal service works especially well for this category. We will establish a strong referral network with the bridal store that is a few doors down as well as other bridal stores in Kansas City. Shapewear and Maternity: clair de lune will have minimal offerings in this category, but plans to expand as demand dictates. Hosiery: We recognize that hosiery can be a great driver for repeat visits, and plan to open with at least one line in year one, and expand this category in year two. Since hosiery has unique display requirements and lower per unit revenue, we will start slowly in this category and develop this area based on customer demand.

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3.2 Product Sourcing & Buying

Our merchandise will be purchased from the top manufacturers in the world, through their regional representatives or directly from the manufacturer. Inventory will be tracked and monitored through the QuickBooks POS system. Basic designs that are kept in-stock by suppliers will be re-ordered on a continual basis, as needed. Seasonal designs will be ordered several months in advance. As previously mentioned, a key to opening our store with a desirable mix of inventory will be utilizing Susan Nethero, owner of Intimacy in Atlanta, as a buying consultant. We will utilize Susan’s vast knowledge of the industry and her supplier relationships to determine the ideal brands, styles, colors, sizes, and quantities for our target market. Susan will also advise us in negotiating the most favorable terms with vendors. We will carefully monitor what sells and what doesn’t, listen to customer feedback, and keep a careful eye on ever-changing fashion trends to optimize future orders. We will attend at least two industry shows per year, to stay current on new designers and trends. We have already attended Intima America and Lingerie Americas, both in New York, in March 2004, which featured a wide array of international and U.S. product lines. The shows were invaluable in giving us some ideas of what product lines to initially carry at clair de lune, and in establishing vendor relationships. In addition to exposing us to the wide array of available lines, both shows provided us with educational seminars that either reinforced many of our plans or provided new thinking to our business strategies.

3.3 Inventory Management & Technology

We will use the QuickBooks Pro Point of Sale system for cash register, inventory, and customer information tracking. The software was developed for a retail environment and has the capacity to handle up to 40,000 SKUs. It is much more affordable than the Retail Pro system, which is the top-of-the-line system for multi-store retailers. We believe that QuickBooks should meet our initial inventory management needs; however, we will continuously monitor this system and how it serves our needs to determine if an upgrade will be necessary in the future.

Market Analysis Summary

There is little reason to doubt that the Kansas City market is a reflection of the national market when it comes to a growing interest among women for intimate apparel. This, coupled with the continued economic strength of the Johnson County, KS and south Kansas City geographic portion of the market, lends further credence to the great potential for clair de lune.

This portion of the plan will explore the key target audiences we have identified as best prospects for the products and services clair de lune will provide.

4.1 Market Segmentation

clair de lune will target specific market segments:

Women 25-59 with household income of $75K+

Women 18-24


Market Potential for Target Segment 1:

Within a five (5) mile radius of our store location, 51.4% of the households have an income of $75K+. This translates into 39,956 households that fall within our primary target income bracket. This number is projected to grow to 54,560 by 2008.

Since one of our goals is to build clair de lune into a destination location for lingerie purchases, it is also pertinent to look at households with $75K+ income in a 15-mile radius of our location. There are 130,986 households that meet this criteria, and that number is projected to grow to 183,630 by 2008.

There are 49,281 women aged 25-59 that live within five miles of our location. That number is projected to grow to 53,671 by 2008.

Within a 15-mile radius, there are 256,303 women aged 25-59 with a growth projection of 270,040 by 2008.

While we do not have statistics that quantify the number of women 25-59 with household income of $75K+, we can estimate that number. Within a 15-mile radius, 32.2% of households have an income of $75K+. If we apply a 32.2% factor against 256,303 women aged 25-59, that gives us 82,529 potential customers in Segment 1.

Market Potential for Target Segment 2:

There are 7,140 women 18-24 that live within five miles of our location. That number is projected to grow to 8,578 by 2008.

Since 18-24-year-olds are much more likely to be impulse purchasers, we are limiting our market potential number to a five-mile radius for this age group.

We have not put a household income qualifier on this segment since the age group includes students and young singles that are only supporting themselves rather than an entire household. Many in this age group are Victoria’s Secret shoppers, and Scarborough Research data shows us that two-thirds of their customers have a household income under $75K. However, we believe it is realistic to assume that many women in this target segment still reside in those $75K+ households referenced above. They take advantage of available disposable income to purchase lingerie.

Market Potential for Target Segment 3:

The Kansas City Star tells us that approximately 15,000 women get married in Kansas City each year. If we conservatively estimate that an average of three persons (including the bride) will be purchasing bridal lingerie for the bride, that gives us a market potential of 45,000 women in this category.

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Overall Potential:

Expenditures on women’s apparel within a five (5) mile radius in 2003 were $113,444,950. We can assume that approximately 14% of that total was intimate apparel, based on national averages. We can then estimate that there were $1,588,293 expenditures on intimate apparel within a five-mile radius. clair de lune would only need to capture 2.8% of that potential market to meet our sales forecasts for 2004. And that is only looking at expenditures within that five-mile radius.

Source: ESRI BIS forecasts for 2003 and 2008

Lingerie Shop Business Plan Example

Market Analysis:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5

Potential Customers Growth CAGR

Women 25-59, HHI $75K+ 5% 82,529 86,953 91,614 96,525 86,953 1.31%

Women 18-24 20% 7,140 8,568 10,282 12,338 8,578 4.69%

Bridal 0% 45,000 45,000 45,000 45,000 45,000 0.00%

Total 1.07% 134,669 140,521 146,896 153,863 140,531 1.07%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Women have varying attitudes towards undergarments. Different personalities are reflected in their underwear drawers. For example, there’s the “low involvement” segment, who only buy enough underwear for the week. They view underwear as a functional necessity and don’t care about color. They just want a clean pair.

clair de lune wants to attract the Intimate Apparel Enthusiast (IAE) segment, aged 18-34, who wear matching bras and panties and enjoy shopping for underwear, especially on impulse. Although IAEs make up only 18% of the market, they account for 25% of sales. Their underwear collection rivals most women’s “special occasion” section.

Many local IAEs are currently Victoria’s Secret customers because it’s the only specialty retailer in Kansas City offering the variety they seek. Over 200,000 people in Kansas City have shopped at Victoria’s Secret in the past 90 days. Of those shoppers, over one-third (33.8%) are aged 18-24, and 82.1% are aged 18-44.

Approximately one out of every seven women in Kansas City over the age of 18 prefers to shop at a specialty store like clair de lune instead of a department store or mass merchandiser.

Although the young IAE buys a lot of undergarments, she isn’t always the most profitable customer. Adults aged 25-59, who make up 65.5% of all adults in the U.S., are the ones who spend over $100 per year on lingerie, accounting for 80.7% of all adults.

Expenditures by Age of Lingerie Purchasers

Nightwear Bra Panties Night/Bras/Panties/Shape

Source: MRI Fall 2003

Income is another key factor in lingerie spending. It also affects the brands a consumer chooses. clair de lune is most interested in consumers with a household income of $75K+ who spend at least $100 per year on lingerie.

Expenditures by Household Income of Lingerie Purchasers

Source: MRI Fall 2003

Characteristics of our target customers:

– Women 25-59 with household income $75K+:

– Women over 35 are lifestyle and status conscious, favoring European brands with high design and quality, shopping less frequently but preferring premium brands.

– We can offer this segment better customer service, higher quality merchandise, and more selection than they are used to at Victoria’s Secret.

– Their purchase decisions are influenced by publications, peers, mothers, and older sisters.

4.3 Industry Analysis

Mass merchandisers lead the women’s innerwear market, including Target, which offers a variety of designer labels at lower prices. Department stores offer a wider range of merchandise, high-end products, and more sizes. Victoria’s Secret is the leading specialty chain, commanding a 20% share of the U.S. bra market.

clair de lune will differentiate itself by carrying international and up-and-coming labels not found in other stores.

The rest of women’s intimate apparel sales occur through non-chain specialty stores, other national chains like Gap, and online/catalog sales.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

In Kansas City, options for purchasing intimate apparel are limited. There are no independent lingerie boutiques, except for a shop called Birdies, which carries trendy and youth-oriented brands. Victoria’s Secret dominates the local market, with 15% of all women in Kansas City having shopped there in the past 90 days.

Having a Victoria’s Secret across the street from clair de lune benefits us. If customers can’t find what they want at Victoria’s Secret, they can easily visit clair de lune. Town Center Plaza and Hawthorne are treated as one destination by consumers. Attracting younger customers will be a challenge.

Other chain specialty lingerie retailers include BodyGap and Inner Self, appealing to demographics similar to Victoria’s Secret. Inner Self is not considered a geographic or demographic competitive threat.

clair de lune will likely share customers with department stores and specialty chains, but these channels lack customer service and quality product depth.

4.3.2 Trends

The U.S. intimate apparel industry is healthy, with increased sales in the daywear category and growing confidence in online and specialty retailers. Innovative textiles and manufacturing have led to seamless undergarments and new microfiber fabrics.

Trends in the intimate apparel industry include increased availability of plus-size undergarments, innerwear crossing over to outerwear, and multiple panty styles.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Our marketing objective is to generate awareness and customer trial visits for clair de lune. Our strategies include utilizing print advertising, direct marketing, in-store promotions, guerrilla marketing, and strategic placement on the internet.

Our tactics include advertising in key publications such as KC Star’s “STAR” Sunday magazine and the KC Weddings magazine. Direct mail will target specific interests and special events. We will also implement low or no-cost guerrilla marketing tactics, such as cross-promotion with complementary stores and emphasizing bridal shops. Strategic placement on websites like will also be explored.

5.1 Marketing Strategy

Our marketing objective is to generate awareness and trial visits to clair de lune. Our strategies include utilizing print advertising, direct marketing, in-store promotions, guerrilla marketing, and strategic internet placement.

Our tactics include advertising in key publications, direct mail targeting specific interests and events, and cross-promotion with complementary stores. Strategic placement on popular websites, such as, will also be explored.

Overall, the SWOT analysis reveals clair de lune’s strengths in quality products, differentiation, excellent customer service, and the commitment of the owner. Weaknesses include the owner’s inexperience and limited exposure to higher-end lingerie brands. Opportunities include filling a void in the lingerie market, attractive retail environment, educating consumers on international brands, and establishing relationships with complementary retailers. Threats include slow economic recovery and competition from Victoria’s Secret adding international designer lines.

This overview provides a detailed plan for executing our marketing initiatives on a monthly basis.

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