La Senza Corporation is a Canadian fashion retailer based in Dorval, Quebec, Canada, that sells lingerie and intimate apparel.
The La Senza brand is currently owned by Limited Brands which operates and owns La Senza stores in Canada and uses a franchise model for the operation of stores outside Canada
Since its first store opened in 1990, the company has grown to include more than 300 stores in Canada. A further 487 stores under the La Senza brand operate in 45 other countries worldwide via licensing, franchise, and cooperation agreements. In 2006 La Senza was purchased by Limited Brands of Columbus, Ohio for $628 million in cash.
La Senza’s products focus on lingerie and nightwear but also include loungewear, daywear, and accessories. The concept is similar to that of Victoria’s Secret, which is also owned by the Limited Brands corporation.
UK and Ireland
Businessman Theo Paphitis bought the United Kingdom and Ireland franchise, called La Senza UK, and began expanding it, eventually with sub-franchises in parts of the European Union. In July 2006 Paphitis sold the company to private equity company Lion Capital, for a reported £100m.Paphitis left the board and is no longer a shareholder,and in the Spring of 2011 set up the new lingerie firm Boux Avenue.
On 23 December 2011 La Senza UK filed for administration citing “trading conditions” as one of the conditions for closure. The company stated that it had 2,600 UK staff at 146 stores and 18 concessions, and announced plans to close 80 stores.
On 9 January 2012, Kuwait based international retail franchise operator Alshaya announced it had reached agreement to take control of much of the ongoing La Senza business in the UK. Under an agreement with KPMG, administrators to La Senza UK, Alshaya UK Limited acquired exclusive franchise rights for the La Senza brand in the UK for an undisclosed sum. Alshaya said it would retain 60 stores, securing around 1,100 jobs while ensuring the continuation of a strong and popular brand on the UK high street. The deal and subsequent plans for the business, which include new product collections and store redesigns, represents a planned investment of around £100m in the UK retail sector over the next two years by Alshaya.
Similar to most fashion brands, La Senza owns and operates other labels, including La Senza Girl clothing stores for teenagers as well as clothing for younger children, La Senza Express stores for bras and panties, and La Senza Spirit for activewear.
Lola and Coco
La Senza has recently launched a line called Lola and Coco by La Senza that is aimed at high school and university students, much like Pink by Victoria’s Secret. Beauty by Victoria’s Secret was available but was discontinued 1 March 2010 in favour of La Senza Beauty.
In 2008, the creator of The Pussycat Dolls, Robin Antin, was asked to design a Pussycat Doll-inspired lingerie collection for the La Senza brand. The collection uses fabrics imported from Italy and Spain. Antin says, “The words for me on this collection are flirtatious, fashion, and fun!”
Similar to Victoria’s Secret, La Senza uses high profiled fashion models to endorse their product. Models such as Lauren Gold, Petra Němcová, Isabeli Fontana, Bianca Balti, Yamila Díaz, Doutzen Kroes, Daniela Pestova, Sophie Anderton, Rebecca Romijn, Caroline Winberg, Emma Heming, Jessica Stam, Maria Sokolovski, and Niclyn Rendall have been featured in an array of campaigns. La Senza does not limit their advertising to high fashion models and often uses high profile celebrities to endorse their brand. Previous celebrities to endorse the brand include Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly, Ex Hollyoaks actress, Gemma Atkinson, and English footballer Gary Lineker’s wife and commercial print model, Danielle Lineker.