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Here's one reason why L Brands is hot


Retailers of women’s intimiate apparel are poised to benefit from a shift in how millennials approach the bra-buying process.

According to the 2015 Bra Journey Insights report from global information company the NPD Group,the way millennial women shop for and select bras differs significantly from the behavior of older generations.

Among consumers of all ages, 80% of bra purchases are planned, and the need to replace is their top reason cited for buying a new one. At the end of the shopping process, over 50% of women buy three or more bras at a time, try them on at home, and don’t return them. However, millennials are starting their engagement with the category differently than previous generations in terms of styles, brands and the way they shop.

The results of the NPD survey may help explain why retailers such as L Brands (parent of Victoria's Secret) have been such strong performers in the specialty retail segment even amid a challenging consumer spending environment.

“The intimate apparel industry needs to embrace the differences while finding the common currency among today’s bra shoppers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Although their definitions of comfort may differ, Millennials and non-Millennials will buy more than one bra when they find the one that suits their lifestyle.”

In general, millennials have a more diverse bra wardrobe than non-millennials. When asked about bra styles worn in the last seven days, millennials cited wearing multiple styles more than non-millennials. Millennials also indicated newness and change in size as top reasons for purchase more often than non-millennials did.

“All bra consumers seek comfort, but differences in their bra introduction and life stage timeline have impacted how Millennials and non-Millennials arrive at comfort throughout their lives,” added Cohen. “The comfort and wearability of the athleisure apparel trend, that is embedded in the Millennial style vocabulary, will compel them to seek the same type of comfort and ease of movement throughout their bra journey; this ultimately drives them toward different shopping behaviors than those of Boomers and older generations. Innovation and targeted variety in product, promotion, and placement will continue to serve the bra industry well as they navigate this new journey with a diverse consumer base.”

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