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Lucy Love president says domestic production a key advantage

By Shelby Stanger
September 25, 2009 6:00 AM

Editor's note: This is another in a series of stories based on talks we had with dozens of brands at ASR and Class. Look for more brand updates in the coming week and beyond.

Lucy Love President Michael Sharp told us at ASR that the dress brand has been able to maintain sales, and that they have been very fortunate to have been less affected by the economy than other brands in the juniors market.

"Young girls have disposable income and want a hot dress for Friday night and our price points are good," he said. Sharp added that the brand has been doubling its business over the last 10 years and that he is seeing a come back in the economy for Spring 2010.

Sharp said one of the brand's key advantages is that its products are all made in the USA. Since people have been more cautious about pre-booking, Lucy Love has been able to turnaround product quickly for customers who under-bought for spring and summer because they were nervous about the economy.

Sharp said they were able to deliver a lot of product quickly to customers who needed it, which a lot of brands who manufacture overseas could not do.

Being made in the USA and being able to produce products close to the market has been a key ingredient for the brand's success. Michael Sharp's wife, Holly Sharp, who is also very involved in Lucy Love, has a retail boutique in Corona del Mar where they can test and get early reads on product.

Besides their own store, Sharp said Lucy Love is the number one branded dress brand right now at PacSun. Lucy Love is also sold at boutiques and surf shops including Jack's, HSS, Active, Hansen's, and Sun Diego.

While being made in the USA makes it harder for Lucy Love to compete with brands made overseas in terms of pricing, Sharp says his shipping and quality is much better and that retailers have said Lucy Love is one of the easiest companies to work with because they always ship and deliver products on time.

Sharp also said that not discounting or selling to mass discounters has helped the brand.

"If I have excess product, I give it away to places like the Orangewood Home in Orange County and other non-profits."

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