By Megan Harman
The founder of an Ontario lingerie retail chain has launched a new concept store targeted towards a younger demographic, and more locations are likely to follow.
Liliana Mann, founder of Linea Intima, opened a new lingerie store called rêve rouge at Toronto's Bayview Village in late June. The store offers high-end lingerie, sleepwear and yoga-wear, geared towards female customers between the ages of 15 and 50.
Mann says she launched the store in response to the changing tastes of customers with respect to lingerie.
“The customer base, I find, is changing,” she says. “It’s a totally different attitude.”
Specifically, Mann says younger customers are less focused on fit and support when shopping for bras, and more focused on feeling comfortable and sexy. rêve rouge strives to reflect that attitude in the merchandise, the design of the store, and the shopping experience.
“We opened the new store for the different customer – the customer who is more in tune with her body, and wants to please herself first, and wants to be comfortable,” says Mann.
rêve rouge carries a carefully curated collection of mid- to high-end merchandise, with a focus on items that are comfortable while also celebrating body shapes and fostering confidence.
The 821-square-foot store was designed with the help of Toronto-based designer Divia La Penna. The colour red is prominently showcased throughout the store, along with youthful accents such as white furry chairs and wallpaper decorated with lips and hearts.
“The store is very clean and modern, but romantic and sexy,” says Mann. “It’s airy and dreamy. Every single detail was thought of.”
rêve rouge aims to create a relaxed shopping experience, with stylists in store who focus on helping customers choose styles they like.
The new concept contrasts with Linea Intima, which launched 20 years ago and now operates five locations in Ontario. That chain caters to a more mature customer base, and focuses primarily on bra fittings. Although many consumers continue to seek out that type of service, Mann says she has found that a growing number of younger consumers were looking for a different type of lingerie shopping experience.
“Daughters who came with their mothers to Linea did not enjoy the experience,” Mann says. “So, that’s why I created a store for the daughters.”
Bayview Village was a good fit for the new store, Mann says, since the North York mall is attracting a growing number of younger shoppers. The upscale shopping centre also has a Linea Intima location.
Both retail chains also sell products online.
Although Mann hasn’t yet made definitive plans for future rêve rouge locations, the expansion of the new concept appears imminent. Within days of opening the store, Mann says she received calls from other malls inquiring about adding more locations.
“There is a much larger demand for a store like this,” she says.
Megan Harman is a business reporter based in Toronto. She writes about topics including retail, financial services and technology. Megan covers Toronto’s retail industry through her blog Retail Realm (torontoretail.wordpress.com). Follow her on Twitter at @meganmharman.