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Reuters reports that Sara Lee Corp. is developing a chain of Inner Self lingerie stores that will be designed to appeal to mainstream women who find the imagery suggested by Victoria’s Secret to be off-putting.

Inner Self will offer a New Age, “spa-like environment” with soft music, calming colors and complimentary hand massages. The company hopes to have about 10 of these a new units open by mid-2003.

The lingerie business isn’t new for Sara Lee, but it has decided to open its own retail units because of competition from Victoria’s Secret and the tough-going at the nation’s department stores as they battle with Wal-Mart.
KC's View:
We find this interesting not because of any particular fascination with women’s underwear, but rather because it suggests a couple of things about the mainstream female customer that more retailers ought to be thinking about -- the desire to be pampered, and irritation at a supermodel culture.

Seems to us that there is an enormous fertile ground here for retailers to exploit.