bare necessities brenda-poppiesAnita UK goes behind the scenes to find out what a day in the life of an Online Lingerie Retailer is all about.

Take a look as we chat to Brenda Cresswell from Bare Necessities in Melbourne UK to see what it takes to run a successful lingerie store and its companion internet site.


Anita: So tell us how the day begins for you Brenda?

Brenda: “Well the shop opens at 9.30 but we would always aim to be here well before that to ensure the shop is clean and tidy for customers.  If there is time the evening before then we would usually tidy before closing but occasionally we do run out of time! One of us will put the kettle on and make a tea or coffee for the team that day which can vary from 3-5 people depending on the day of the week.  I will often have started the day at the gym or with a swim so I’ll have breakfast (fruit and nuts or yoghurt) at my desk while I’m checking my email.

Bare necessities shop window

Bare necessities shop window

Anita: So how busy is the Online side of your business?

Brenda: Well the number of orders varies from day to day but there will usually be between three and eight orders waiting for us each morning. This increases dramatically if we are running a promotion or its sale time of course!

Anita: And where are most of your online customers based?

Brenda: Literally all over. They can be from the UK, EU and world-wide.  We have a lot of loyal repeat customers which is excellent but obviously we are always looking to attract new lingerie or swimwear customers to our database as well.

Anita: Interesting. And what is the average spend for an online customer?

Brenda: The average lingerie /swimwear order is approximately £85 but we do get some much larger orders as well!  We don’t offer free returns, this is at the customers expense and if challenged we gently remind them that if they need to take an item back to any shop they would be paying for petrol, parking etc.!

Anita: What are your best selling products online

Brenda: They are the same as the best selling products in store interestingly enough…but I’m not going to give all my secrets away!

Shop inside Bare necessities

Interior view of Bare Necessities

Anita: Ha ha that’s fair enough Brenda. Have you had any issues with selling goods online?

Brenda: Actually we have very rarely experienced issues with selling on-line as we use strict fraud protection with credit cards.  In the past this was much more of an issue but with experience you get to ‘know’ when an order isn’t right!

Anita: That’s reassuring to know. Do you have much interaction with your online customers? Do they ring for advice?

Brenda: Yes we do enjoy a high level of interaction with online customers, either by phone or email for advice on sizing, styles etc. or difference between brands. That’s something that we would really encourage online lingerie customers to do, since when they are informed they will make better buying decisions and in turn will be more likely to be happy with their chosen styles. This particularly applies to ladies who have had a mastectomy and can often be confused about what styles to have after surgery.

Interior bare necessities UK

Bare Necessitie store view

Anita: How do you choose your products, do you choose the same products as you sell in the store or do you sell different products online?

Brenda: No we sell the same products online as in the store.  There may be items instore that we are not offering online but that is usually because product images were not readily available or perhaps the fit of the garment is more difficult and better fitted in store.

Anita: So what time do you finish in the evenings?

Brenda: Well officially the shop closes at 5.30 but we would never hurry a customer out! Once the customers have all left we will cash up for the day and if time allows will hoover etc. ready for the morning.

Anita: Thank you so much Brenda for allowing us an insight into your world. If any of our reader would like to browse Brenda’s beautiful collection of lingerie please visit and don’t forget to check out the Anita collections while you are there.

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