‘Cougar effect’ boosts lingerie sales

Posted: June 2, 2010

Debenhams is reporting sales of sultry lingerie among women of a ‘certain age’ are booming, partly thanks to the glamorous 40-somethings of Sex and the City 2 and Cougar Town.

The hit TV show and movie depict the bedroom antics of women in their 40s and 50s and their much younger partners, and is being credited by Debenhams with the rise in demand from women of the same age.

A nationwide analysis of the most popular lingerie styles from October 2009 to April 2010 by the High Street store revealed that 40-plus women have given the more seductive side of the lingerie industry a big boost. The company says these women are rediscovering their figures, often after having children or getting divorced, and are enjoying the confidence boost that a great fitting bra can give.

Previously the peak purchasers of cleavage-enhancing bras, basques, thongs, stockings and suspenders have been women in their early 20s.

Head Lingerie Buyer for Debenhams, Annette Warburton said: “It’s important that women at any age feel fantastic in their underwear. Over the last six months, our lingerie fitters have reported a sharp rise in the number of women in their 40s and 50s booking consultations to overhaul their lingerie wardrobes. We currently bra fit over 250,000 women a year and the 40-plus age group is now our fastest growing market. Positive female role models in this age group such as the women in the Sex and the City movies and Courtney Cox in TV’s Cougar Town are giving women confidence to splash out on themselves. With women’s 40s being touted as the new 20s, and lingerie designers stepping up to the mark to feed this demand, it’s a market we expect to see grow further in the future.”

Leading Canadian lingerie label Coquette has also noted an increase in sales of its products among the 40-somethings, and it too cites Sex and the City and Cougar Town as a major influence.

“Our lingerie sales alone have increased 30% since 2008 and Coquette overall has had sales increases of 15%,” said Marcus Horea, VP of Sales and Marketing for Coquette. “We have noticed that this increase could be attributed to women aged 35 and older who are purchasing more lingerie, becoming our largest consumer demographic.”

Elaine Carson, senior designer at Coquette, added: “Women today feel empowered to dress sexier while still asserting themselves in society, particularly in the workforce. These shows [Cougar Town and Sex and the City 2] portraying women over 40 as independent and fashionable has encouraged their viewership to pursue this lifestyle. Lingerie is a large part of feeling sexy, no matter your age.”

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