When we publicly announced that, after being in business for over 39 years in downtown Charleston, our 302 King Street store would be closing its doors and expanding to Mount Pleasant, we admit we weren’t sure of how our customers and the local community would welcome the news. For years our lingerie boutique has been a local, as well as tourist, favorite for both women and men; specializing in European lingerie, plus size lingerie, sleepwear, and swimwear. Our lingerie shop, nestled in the heart of King Street’s historic shopping district, neighbored a variety of local boutiques that each carried unique merchandise and specialty brands. However, take a stroll down the popular retail road today and you’ll quickly notice that what used to be locally owned shops are now replaced with large corporate retail stores; sadly mimicking a shopping mall.
Since purchasing the business in 2000, Owner, Ruth Brennan, has seen firsthand the shift in the retail market and observed how increasing rent rates on King Street has caused local business retailers to be replaced by national retailer brands. Brennan told Post and Courier, “The biggest hurdle for local retail owners is that they are competing with national companies who are able to pay quite a large fee to rent space on King Street.” The decision to consolidate our two successful locations from Charleston store to our current Mount Pleasant location (453 W Coleman Blvd) was a strategic choice for owner Ruth Brennan to make. She knew that the direction of expansion would be positive for growing our brick-and-mortar store, as well as, our e-Commerce site. Launching our e-Commerce site back in 2010, Brennan, knew that the shift in retail was quickly approaching and that consumers were beginning to make more e-Commerce purchases.
Brennan continues to advocate that customers still need the initial in store fitting to acquire their basic sizing and further improve their online purchasing process. Brennan says, “Once customers have their own personalized fitting in store and become aware of their proper size and fit, they can then go online and confidently shop our newest styles and colors without hesitation. However, if a customer is unsure about their size and isn’t around locally for a fitting, we have developed the online fitting for our first time customers. This service provides a trained professional bra fitter available during the week that can assist you on sizing and recommend styles. There aren’t a lot of businesses who offer this type of service, we are truly unique.”
Brennan went on to say that the decision to expand to Mount Pleasant comes with great perks, including the store’s close proximity to the bridge (right before Shem Creek) and the surrounding towns. Brennan says, “Retail is a constantly evolving business, at Bits of Lace, we pride ourselves on our ability to stay current and provide the service and products our customers want. We’ve had an incredible run at our King Street location and have made invaluable connections with countless locals.” She adds, “Focusing on our Mount Pleasant location and e-commerce site right now, along with several other exciting new initiatives we have planned for 2016, will allow us to remain relevant while still local-minded.”
Some of the exciting new initiatives include the store hosting private bridal lingerie events for brides-to-be and her bridal party. With an advanced reservation, brides can enjoy an evening of private fittings and lingerie shopping, all while being served with champagne and treats. Brides can request a personalized bridal fitting by one of our trained fitters, who can assist brides in finding the most necessary and flattering lingerie pieces for their special day or honeymoon. Brennan says, “Good business means being connected, and we’re dedicated to growing our relationships with the bridal market here in Charleston.” She adds, “A bride’s lingerie shower is just as important as any other wedding event. Therefore, we plan to be a venue that hosts private bridal lingerie showers, with the option of including catering and photography with our newly planned event space and Low Country marsh views.
Another includes, Brennan taking her quality made bras on the road, with a new mobile bra business that aims to service and provide customers with a more accessible shopping and bra fitting experience. The program includes reaching a variety of locations and events including in home, bridal, charity, and local women’s clubs. Brennan hopes that by being mobile she will be able to reach a broader market of women with varying lifestyles, shapes, and lingerie needs. Similar to restaurants transitioning to food trucks, the mobile retail business is quickly gaining momentum. Bits of Lace will be among the first of its kind, changing and improving the way women shop for their bras. Bits of Lace will hold high in our mission towards providing excellence to our customers and service to our community.
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Email us: email@example.com
Online Customer Service: (800)-842-3990
Bits of Lace Mt. Pleasant
453 W Coleman Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464