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Luxury Approach At The Counter

Stacey Dorfman is out to give legwear retailing the luxury treatment in her new store here, Sheers-The Bodywear Bar.

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Byline: RUSTY WILLIAMSON


DALLAS -- Stacey Dorfman is out to give legwear retailing the luxury treatment in her new store here, Sheers-The Bodywear Bar.


Carrying a high-end mix of legwear, bodywear and accessories, the store opened June 20 in a small upscale strip center called The Plaza, on Oak Lawn Avenue, near the posh Highland Park neighborhood. The store thus far has been averaging sales of $200 per customer and hopes to hit $600,000 in first-year business, said Dorfman.


Dorfman doesn't think those figures are unrealistic for the 678-square-foot store, with its frosted-glass door etched with an abstract figure of a woman, and featuring flashing video monitors, and shelves and counters of two-tone woods. Four small cocktail bars complete with bar stools are the centerpiece of the store's fixturing. They also give validity to the store's name, which Dorfman notes is a takeoff on her favorite television show, "Cheers."


"Sheers is a high-end convenience store for the Nineties," said Dorfman, a Dallas native who divides her time between homes here and in New York. "But it's definitely not hose-to-go. I'm targeting the affluent customer, who wants to be showered with attention and demands luxury goods."


The store's mix is about 65 percent legwear, including hosiery, socks, trouser socks, thigh-highs and garters. Donna Karan and DKNY are anchors in the store's stock, which also features such legwear labels as Calvin Klein and CK, Nobis, Filadoro, Hue, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Anne Klein, Wolford, Gamine and Achille.


Legwear prices range from $3 for Calvin Klein sheer footlets to about $35 for a pair of Wolford pantyhose.


Dorfman expects legwear to generate at least 50 percent of the store's total first-year sales, or about $300,000.


"Black or nude was the main question women asked about hosiery 10 years ago," reasoned Dorfman. "Now the leg is a main focus. There are lots of choices and questions, and most women don't know how to dress the legs, whether you're wearing a pair of Levi's or an Armani suit."


Product depth is the strong suit at Sheers, with each vendor represented with a variety of colors and sizes. The store offers free delivery and will open early or stay late to accommodate an emergency.


Bodywear, including tights and bodysuits, makes up about 30 percent of the remaining mix, with vendors such as Wolford, B.C.B.G., Arlotta, Bisou-Bisou, Anti-Flirt, Wayne Rogers and Cosa Bella.

 

Prices are $20 for a basic bodyshirt from Hanky Panky to $410 for a viscose handmade bodyshirt from Arlotta.


Accessories, including handbags, totes and fashion jewelry, and body care products like loofahs and treatment products, round out the store's offerings.


Dorfman is no stranger to retailing. Prior to opening Sheers, she was a freelance fashion consultant for two years in New York. Before that, she was public relations coordinator for Neiman Marcus at its Mazzo Gallerie unit in Washington, and earlier, she was special events and public relations director at Garfinckel's, Washington, D.C. She also served briefly as public relations director at Saks Jandel in Washington.


After refining her concept with Sheers here, Dorfman hopes to roll out the idea to other cities, probably New York, Washington, San Francisco and Chicago.

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