L'eggs, No Nonsense slip into lingerie

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Bras and panties are going mass-market, and the leading pantyhose players are ready to step in.

L'eggs Products and No Nonsense will both introduce women's underwear lines in drugstores and supermarkets this month in an effort to leverage their brand names for value-conscious women. L'eggs Intimates will market two lines of women's panties, Satin Stretch and Cotton Stretch. No Nonsense Intimates unveiled a line that includes panties and bras.


"Consumers are going with brands they know and that provide them with comfort and value," said Carol Burke, VP-licensing for No Nonsense parent Kayser-Roth.

The marketers are pursuing consumers who increasingly prefer to shop outside traditional department stores. According to figures from NPD Group, department stores' share of intimate apparel sales dropped to 16.2% in 1999, from 18.5% in 1994. Discount stores increased their share to 28.3% from 25.9% during that period.

No Nonsense Intimates will be available at discounters and food and drugstore chains. Prices start at $2.99 for panties and $4.99 for bras. Marketing plans are still being developed, but the company will launch an ad campaign "shortly," Ms. Burke said.

Advertising is being handled in-house by Kayser-Roth and New York Phenomenon, the licensee manufacturing the products.

No Nonsense has been on an expansion trend since Kayser-Roth was acquired in late 1998 by Italian hosiery manufacturer Golden Lady SpA. After giving its brands virtually no ad support for years, it hired McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., as its new advertising agency last month. McKinney & Silver will create the first new advertising for the hosiery brand in three years; the campaign could break in the first quarter of 2001.

L'eggs Intimates will be available at food and drugstores, including Dominick's and Rite Aid, and will retail for $3.99 a pair. The introduction will be backed by in-store displays and promotions, including coupons and offers tied to other L'eggs products.

Advertising will kick off in 2001, when the line expands to more products and into discount stores. DDB Worldwide, Chicago, handles L'eggs hosiery advertising.


No Nonsense and L'Eggs are the latest brands to step into the mass-market intimates segment. On Valentines' Day, Bali Corp.--a sister brand to L'eggs under the Sara Lee Corp. umbrella--introduced its first line of mass-market women's underwear. The brand, Lovable, launched in discount stores such as Kmart and Wal-Mart, backed by advertising from Henderson Tyner Art Co., Winston-Salem, N.C. The campaign included print and radio ads and a Web site.

Jockey International followed that launch with Formfit, a line of women's intimate apparel sold exclusively at Target stores. That launch was backed by a campaign from Grey Advertising, New York.

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