99p bra hits the struggling high street

WITH the economy in crisis and the days getting darker it’s a depressing time of year, but one company is hoping to give cash-strapped punters a lift – with a 99p BRA.

 

Customers can snap up the recession BUST-ing lingerie for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

 

Its makers claim that the bra, the first to be sold for under a quid, has a ‘silky, satin smooth feel’ to rival its higher-priced counterparts.

 

Discount retailer 99p Stores will start stocking the padded bra, available in black, white and ‘natural’ colour from today (FRI).

 

Made mostly from polyester, it also features a decorative bow at the front.

 

The store is hoping the budget bra, available in sizes 32-36C, will match the success of its ‘itsy bitsy teenie weenie 99p bikini’, launched in 2009.

 

Its release comes just a day after US lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret unveiled a USD2.5 million, diamond-studded bra to be worn by supermodel Miranda Kerr at its annual fashion show.

 

And in a further attempt to set itself against luxury brands, the cheeky retailer is about to open a store next door to a branch of posh department store Harvey Nichols.

 

Boss of 99p Stores, Hussein Lalani, said that the company decided to launch the garment nationally after a successful trial in a few of its stores.

 

He said: “The response has been very good. Obviously, due to the tough economic times everyone is looking to save money where ever they can and I guess this bra has hit the market at the right time.

 

“I’m confident we’ve produced the best value bra in the country.”

 

He added that the company, which already produces a range of lacy knickers, was working on a design a matching bra.

 

He said: “Who knows? We might see the first 99p lingerie set soon.”

 

Model NAME, AGE was one of the first to try out the new bra.

 

The pretty blonde/brunette from PLACE said that she was surprised at how the bra compared to department store and high street equivalents.

 

She said: “I was a bit apprehensive at first because I’ve bought low-priced bras before and they were very uncomfortable.

 

“But this one was actually really pleasant, and I could see myself wearing it to work.”

 

NAME even said that the sassy black version of the garment might not just be reserved for during the day.

 

She said: “I’d feel confident wearing this for my boyfriend in the bedroom – although I doubt he’d care much about how much it cost!”

99p Stores to expand

99p Stores are set to double in size with the help extended banking facilities of over £20m. Thanks to Barclay’s bank the high street retailer will be expanding into Ireland.

 

As a result, the retailer has moved all of its operational banking across to Barclays Corporate in recognition of the bank’s support for its ambitious growth plans.

 

The facilities will support the opening of between 40-50 new stores a year, the first of which have already opened the doors to customers in Letchworth, Stowmarket, Swindon, Weston-Super-Mare, Yeovil, Bishops Stortford and Colchester. The first of two Irish stores under the new brand ‘€uro 50 Stores’ opened in Dublin this morning and a second in Balbriggan is due to open later this month. A further 20 are planned in the next 12 months.

 

Glen McDonald, Relationship Director in Barclays Corporate’s Retail and Wholesale team said: “99p Stores and Family Bargains is a fantastic success story in what is a very challenging environment for retailers. The management’s ambitious growth plans to double the businesses’ size and expand overseas are testament to their success, and will ultimately create many new and much-needed jobs”.

 

Nadir Lalani, Chief Executive Officer, 99p Stores Limited said: “I am excited about moving to Barclays Corporate and look forward to working with them in the future as we continue to expand our businesses”.

 

99p Stores Limited, based in Swan Valley, Northampton, was founded by entrepreneur, Nadir Lalani, in January 2001. He opened his first store in Holloway, London and continued to open three further stores later that year. The company has enjoyed rapid growth and now has 150 outlets including 12 Family Bargains which offer a broader range of general merchandise including toys and soft furnishings.