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retail watch

Spanx Firms Up Retail Strategy with Standalone Stores

Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 01:55 PM

The textbook case of entrepreneurial success that is Sara Blakely's Spanx shapewear brand has just written a new chapter: on Nov. 2nd, Spanx opened its first standalone retail store in the U.S., at the Tysons Corner Center in Maclean, Virginia, one of three stores opening this fall in addition to the brand's first airport boutique, at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. As the brand posted on its Facebook page, Blakely told USA Today that the opening made her feel "excited, nervous, emotional" as it made the leap into its own bricks-and-mortar retail channel.

Blakely's meteoric rise from inspired but inexperienced entrepreneur to one of the richest women in the world has been one of the most interesting stories in business over the last few years. She started out shilling her first invention — a modernized, footless hybrid of a girdle and panty hose — from a folding table in the foyer of a Neiman Marcus and would ship online orders in white Office Depot envelopes from her Atlanta apartment, as Forbes recounts.

The 41-year-old entrepreneur continued tirelessly promoting her brand to the point where, today, Spanx products are sold in more than 11,500 department stores, boutiques and online shops in 40 countries. As Forbes puts it, Spanx has become the "Kleenex" of the category Blakely invented, with revenues just shy of $250 million last year. And her success made Blakely the world's youngest self-made female billionaire.

Even so, Spanx never had operated its own stores, but it now has the cash and variety of products, including Spanx for men, swimwear and apparel, that the timing couldn't be better.Continue reading...

retail watch

Spanx Firms Up Plans for Standalone Stores

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 14, 2012 04:02 PM

Spanx founder Sara Blakely is now a household name, appearing in People magazine and on the cover of Forbes as the youngest self-made female billionaire in its history of ranking billionaires — all thanks to the stunning success of her cheeky brand of body-contouring shapewear.

Currently sold online and "within bigger department stores and boutiques" in 40 countries, the Atlanta-based Spanx brand that she founded with $5,000 of her life savings is gearing up to expand into standalone branded stores, starting with the U.S., in the fourth quarter.Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: Bar, Barbie, Beyonce, Benetton, and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 6, 2012 11:44 AM

Kicking off this week's Brand Bites, model Bar Refaeli's new under.me lingerie line campaign channels an iconic cheeky tennis poster.

PETA take note: the Sierra Club's new "Coal Will Say Anything" campaign shows how it's done.Continue reading...

personal brands

New Video: Spanx Founder Sara Blakely Shares Business Advice

Posted by Brandchannel Staff on March 19, 2012 11:29 AM

Spanx founder Sara Blakely, the youngest "rebel billionaire" to make the Forbes annual uber-rich ranking, shares her business advice in this new video for American Express OPEN.

brand inspiration

Spanx Founder Sara Blakely: The Youngest Self-Made Rebel Billionaire

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 9, 2012 01:02 PM

You may remember Sara Blakely as a contestant on Rebel Billionaire, Richard Branson's 2005 reality competition series on Fox. Now she can claim the title as a rebel billionaire, and just like Branson, she's a self-made branding phenom with a flair for promotion — and she owes it all to Spanx.

Call it shapewear, support wear, body shapers, slimming intimates, "hosiery crack" — Spanx has conquered the worlds of retail, fashion and business school case studies, first by helping firm up women's wobbly bits and then, of course, men's. That's right: move over, mantyhose — Blakely got there first, one of many sparks of inspiration and innovation that have propelled her to become the first self-made female billionaire on Forbes' annual billionaire ranking.

“At 41 she’s the youngest woman to join this year’s World’s Billionaires list without help from a husband or an inheritance. She is part of a tiny, elite club of American women worth ten figures on their own, including Oprah Winfrey and Meg Whitman,” writes Forbes in a cover story on their March 26th billionaires ranking annual issue, which is now on newsstands. “Today Spanx is to slimming undergarments what Kleenex is to tissues: a brand that stands for the category.”Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: LVMH, NBC, Samsung & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 27, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple, Microsoft and Cisco lead Moody's richest companies list, while iPhone 5 anticipation grows.

Banks bracing for US downgrade don't see panic yet.

Dunkin' shares jump 46% on first day of trading.

LVMH now owns 20% of Hermes.

NBC faces objections to upcoming series about the Playboy club.

PayPal boycotted by hacktivists.

Samsung reigns as Android champion.

Spanx taps into women's gym wear popularity.

Starbucks Facebook strategy shows value of engagement.

UBS sued by US regulator over $4.5 billion of mortgages.

brand of crazy

Shapewear for All? Er, No Thanx

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on January 13, 2011 02:00 PM

Those New Year's resolutions to diet and exercise my already be fading for some. But for would-be big losers who aren't as resolute as they would like to be, shapewear garments promise to contain that holiday overindulgence — no dieting required! And apparently, they're not just for middle-aged women anymore.

Spanx has been the dirty little secret for years of fashionistas (there's even a flaunt-it Haute Contour line) and celebrities who need more outer self-control. The line has expanded to include men's shapewear (get rid of that gut!) and maternity wear that promises shaping of the rear and thighs with back and belly support (like you have only gained weight in the belly!)

But things have certainly gone too far when shapewear garments are being marketed to kids, which is exactly what Real Housewife of New York Jill Zarin wants to do.Continue reading...

week in review

Top 10 of the Week: Gaga, Fed, Tiger

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 4, 2010 04:00 PM

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