Covid-19: A tale of bras and bass

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Cornwall-based plus size underwear specialist, TheSizeExperts, and local seafood supplier, The Cornish Fishmonger, have had to adapt their businesses quickly to help customers since the lockdown was announced.

TheSizeExperts have been a leading name in the plus size underwear market for many years, but since the lockdown the firm have seen a spike in sales of its comfort bra range, its plus size hospital gowns and its range of non-medical grade face masks.

The Cornish Fishmonger has also experienced significant demand in online domestic orders of fish and seafood boxes, a trend which has filled the gap left by the huge impact that the closing of restaurants has had on the business.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest,” said Laura Murray, founder of TheSizeExperts. “Our comfort bras are proving very popular, women are choosing to put aside their restrictive underwired bras for a more relaxed pullover bra while at home.

“Our face masks (non-medical) being produced by our underwear manufacturers, are also selling very well, they’re washable and have antibacterial & filtration capabilities.”

Rob Wing, founder of The Cornish Fishmonger has seen a surge in online sales since the lockdown and has had to increase delivery slots and completely change all their internal processes to meet demand and maintain supply.

“The closure of the hospitality and export industry was a huge blow to us, but we have been buoyed by the amount of people who are coming to our website wanting to buy quality Cornish-caught fish direct to their homes, it’s been a boost for us and the hundreds of local Cornish fishermen still working to supply for food chain with fresh fish.

“We’re adapting quickly to pivot the business in the short term away from wholesale business to now fully focusing on online retail to keep up with demand for home delivery. In the long term we hope that this change in shopping habits helps customers understand the difference between sustainably sourced fresh Cornish fish and the often-imported selection found on supermarket shelves.”

The surge in online activity has forced many businesses to adapt to satisfy the demand. Jaye Cowle, founder of south west digital marketing agency Launch Online, believes that businesses that embrace this period of online activity will not only make short term gains but strengthen their businesses for the future.

“It’s important that businesses adapt to take advantage of digital marketing,” said Cowle.

“Vodafone reported that time spent online has increased by over 50%, with Google reporting a 700% increase in searches for terms like ‘home delivery’ and ‘order online’; YouTube is also seeing a rise of over 500% in daily views with searches including ‘at home’ featuring highly and Live streaming from celebrities like Joe Wicks, driving views. Our message to businesses in the region is that you need to adapt, your customers are still out there, you just need to find them online and communicate to them in the right way.”