RTW Retailwinds joins online lingerie war

Dive Brief:

  • RTW Retailwinds, Inc. (formerly New York & Company[1]) has tapped a former Victoria’s Secret merchandising executive for a new online lingerie brand launched Thursday, dubbed “Uncommon Sense.” Prices range from $12.50 to $20 for panties (with a buy two, get two free option), to $19.50 to $45 for bras, $24.95 to $79.95 for swimsuits and $18 to $59.50 for sleepwear, according to the e-commerce website[2].

  • Brand President Pam Rice more recently led GapBody and in all has more than 25 years of industry experience, according to a company press releaseShe has led “a team of female entrepreneurs” to develop what the company is calling “a lifestyle collection of bras, panties, sleepwear, and swimwear.” The collection is now available at the Uncommon Sense website, but soon will be available at New York & Company stores and its website. [3]

  • It’s RTW Retailwinds’ second digitally native brand, following the April 4 launch[4] of apparel brand Happy x Nature by Kate Hudson. 

Dive Insight:

As Victoria’s Secret struggles with a backlash[5] to its sexualized marketing and merchandising as well as too many stores in underperforming malls, several lingerie brands have seized the opportunity to grab market share.

Many of those are newer companies, including Lively and ThirdLove, that operate only online, and legacy players are joining them. Chico’s FAS earlier in April, for example, debuted its new TellTale lingerie brand[6] aimed at younger consumers. 

Uncommon Sense is backing up its claims of being a “lifestyle” brand with content on its site covering health and wellness, travel and style, according to its release. And Rice, like so many retail merchandisers these days, is taking a page from L Brands’ founder Les Wexner’s playbook with deals like “buy two, get two.”

RTW Retailwinds CEO Greg Scott sees the launch of e-commerce pure-plays as integral to the company’s turnaround. The conglomerate’s portfolio also includes the
Eva Mendes Collection, Gabrielle Union Collection, Fashion to Figure and its subscription service, NY&Company Closet, and runs
411 retail and outlet locations in 35 states in addition to its digital sales.

“We are at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, with a proven track record for developing celebrity and sub-brand collections that resonate with our customers,” he said in a statement. “Our recent introductions of two new digitally-native brands reflect the team’s ability to leverage our competitive assets and infrastructure across design, digital, customer, and operations to develop and bring to market brands that address specific whitespace competitive opportunities.”

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