Underwear. “Hunkemöller is in advanced talks to sign a franchising agreement in India”
Philip Mountford, the CEO of Hunkemöller, previously worked for Mos Bross Group, Gianni Versace and Nautica luxury retailers
In the lingerie sector -a brand-oriented market by essence- specialty stores are facing an increasing competition from low-end retailers and e-commerce. Global Retail News met Philip Mountford, the CEO of Hunkemöller, Northern Europe’s largest lingerie specialty retailer.
Global Retail News: Can you please present us Hunkemöller?
What are the characteristics of the lingerie retail market?
Lingerie is an exquisitely personal product. It relates directly to women’s privacy, intimate perception of the body and attraction to others. Each country has very specific social or religious rules. In China, red signifies wedding, and white signifies bereavement. French women are very informed and experienced with lingerie, via historic brands such as Simone Perele and Chantelle. Americans, however, tend to be more strictly traditional, despite some brands like Victoria Secret. Morphologies vary by country, with larger bra sizes in Northern Europe than in the South.
What is your largest product category?
Lingerie generates 53% of turnover, followed by nightwear (16%). According to research, we found out that 80% of women wear the wrong bra size. Hunkemöller sells specific cut shapes suiting all morphologies in various countries. We also have "HKMX", a sport private label including lingerie sets and fitness apparel, and "Sweet Heart", a range dedicated to 13 to 16 girls buying their first bras.
Where are your products made?
90% are sourced from Far East Asia, to ensure good value for money. The remaining 10% come from European countries, allowing us to be responsive to trends. Our team designs 95% of the range.