Retail Advice: 6 Tips to Grow Your Small Bust Lingerie Sales
“Six Tips to Grow Your Small Bust Lingerie Sales”
Story by Elisabeth Dale.
Elisabeth Dale is an internationally renowned breast expert and author, and the founder of TheBreastLife.com. She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Tyra Banks Show, BBC World News, NPR, and has been featured in The New York Times, Cosmo, Glamour, Men’s Health, and the Sunday London Times.
For many women with smaller breasts, and those who design lingerie for their unique bodes, retailers could increase their overall sales and gain loyal customers, if they took a few simple steps to focus more on the needs of this underserved and misunderstood niche market.
Above: Azaleas lingerie boutique in New York City.
Several lingerie retailers and small bust brands shared with me how they have succeeded in gaining a larger smaller busted clientele. Here are some things others can do to grow their petite lingerie customer base.
1. Recognize that a small bust market exists; It’s a lot like the formerly “invisible” full bust market.
Above: Lula Lu Petites’ Kyla Corset.
“If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about smaller busted women, they feel just as cheated as fuller cup women,” — Ashley Kelsch, Teddies for Bettys.
Just because the news media jumps on reports of a rise in bigger bra sizes, doesn’t mean that every woman has large breasts. There is no scientific evidence that proves one size is more common than another. (Imagine how difficult this would be to determine since breast size and shape changes over a woman’s lifetime.) Cindy of Azaleas adds, “Actually, there are a lot of under represented sizes in the market. There’s definitely a skewed view of what’s popular and what looks good but really women come in all shapes and sizes, breasts included.”
It is important to shift the mindset of retailers and consumers. “If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about smaller busted women, they feel just as cheated as fuller cup women,” says Ashley from Teddies for Bettys. Stephanie at Bella Petites thinks, “Women aren’t bothering to go into the store because they don’t have anything.” The retailer sells fewer products in those sizes, offers less, and the cycle continues.
2. Understand that small and petite busts have specific bra size and fit problems.
Above: Lula Lu Petite Leya Mesh Bra.
“Retailers must seek out brands that offer the best small cup fit solutions.”
Like the (former) under-served full and plus size women, these consumers don’t even know they have options. All the emphasis on bra “fit” is geared to meeting fuller cup needs. Cindy from Azaleas points out:
“Finding a bra is not an exact science for any sized woman. Surely the ladies sizing in the 34B/C/D category may have a lot more to choose from but everyone has something specific that they are looking for.”
Many major lingerie brands also struggle with fit issues for the petite-breasted woman. Retailers must seek out brands that offer the best small cup fit solutions. As the buyer for Teddie for Bettys, Ashley has found that the Chantelle Rive Gauche and the Simone Perele Celeste contour bra work well for some of her clients. Cindy of Azaleas thinks it is also important to stock niche brands that are specifically designed for smaller busted customers.
3. Introduce customers to new bra styles.
“Like other women, petite cups enjoy variety in their lingerie drawers.”
Smaller busted women should be encouraged to try new brands and styles. Push-ups and padded bras aren’t made just for small busts either. Like other women, petite cups enjoy variety in their lingerie drawers. Kelly O’Brien of Linger believes it is important to “make women re-imagine themselves, the beauty of their bodies and they fact that there are bras made with them in mind: ‘Real bras’.” Cindy of Azaleas finds that “you can encourage these women to try different styles of bras. Some are only prone to wear cleavage-creating bras but sometimes those are not the most comfortable bras.”
4. Think outside the bra.
Above: Bella Petite Lingerie Sheer Collection White Chemise.
“If the lingerie stores advertised that they were carrying those sizes, it would definitely attract customers,” Ellen Shing, Lula Lu Petites.
Consider carrying smaller sizes in other store products, like teddies or camisoles. Bras aren’t the only pieces women with small busts look for to fill their lingerie desires. “They need sleepwear, panties, shapewear, etc., and would become very loyal to stores who carried their size so they have a lingerie store to shop at, which most do not have now. Basically, there’s more upside to carrying small bra sizes than just the bra sales,” says Shing of Lula Lu Petites.
5. Create a separate section for your small-busted customers.
Above: Bras on display at Azaleas Lingerie Boutique in New York City.
Consider creating a distinct petite lingerie section in your store or on-line for a petite busted segment. (Not unlike what some retailers have done with plus size and full bust brands.) This lets customers know that you recognize their desire to wear lingerie and are actively seeking to meet their specific needs.
6. Use social media or other marketing tools.
Above: A wonderfully crafted eNewsletter from Azaleas.
“In the end, lingerie retailers may find they’ve grown a new following of repeat customers…”
Find a way to promote that you carry small bust brands in your store. Use your blog, or other online social media sites (Pinterest, Tumbler, Instagram) to highlight the smaller bust sizes you offer. “If the lingerie stores advertised that they were carrying those sizes, it would definitely attract customers,” says Ellen of Lula Lu Petites.
In the end, lingerie retailers may find they’ve grown a new following of repeat customers. Because right now, there’s not much available to meet the lingerie needs of this smaller bust demographic.
Part 1: Elisabeth Dale gives readers an in-depth overview of the Small Bust Lingerie market. If you missed part 1, read the full article HERE.
About the Brands Featured
Bella Petite Lingerie was founded by a small busted woman after years of frustration while trying to purchase lingerie. It seems the industry has forgotten that good things DO come in small packages. This company is for women like the founder who knows that NATURAL beauty is the best kind. We will be focused on selling petite lingerie for women with small busts.
Lula Lu Petites. Lula Lu has made it our mission to find the best fitting AAA, AA and A cup bras plus small lingerie for you. Whether you’re looking for a basic T-shirt bra or a sexy bra set, we’ve got you covered!