What’s in store for Laura Shoppe

Laura Shoppe has big plans to win back customers following its emergence from creditor protection last month.

The Montreal-based retailer, which operates 140 stores under the Laura and Melanie Lyne banners, experienced losses in 2012 and 2013 due to a change in merchandise direction. That included more basic styling and increasing overseas production with vendors that were not yet proven to be reliable, said Laura’s senior vice-president, Josh Fisher.

“Often retailers struggle when they lose focus on their core customers, and that’s what happened to us,” said Fisher. “We’ve reversed the merchandising changes that alienated our core customers [and they] reacted well to the changes in 2014 and 2015.”

This year, the company is rolling out new concept stores for both the Laura and Melanie Lyne brands. The Laura stores will have a residential feel, with soft tones and textures to make customers feel relaxed and welcome, said Fisher. There’s also a new layout for its three fit collections, including petites and plus-sized. “Previously, the plus assortment was featured in the back of the store, and we’ve brought it forward,” said Fisher.

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