British nightwear brand Cyberjammies has witnessed exceptional growth in recent years after investing in marketing and PR, but there¡¯s no rest for the wicked ¨C the label hopes to broaden its horizons by adding a children¡¯s range to its portfolio and expanding internationally.

Remember the brand Cyberjammies as it’s about to become a household name.

The British nightwear label has been around for 13 years, but it is still being discovered by consumers and retailers alike, and with its current plans for marketing, product growth and international expansion, it appears to have reached its tipping point.

What’s even more exciting is that when Lingerie Insight went to press, the business had already reported a 50% growth in sales on 2014, and so a successful few years ahead seem almost certain.

“I think in the next three or four years, people are going to be finding us still. So the beauty of the brand and the reason we are so excited is that we are still being discovered, so there is a long journey ahead of us,” said Cyberjammies managing director Kunal Sadarangani.

Back to the start

Cyberjammies started out as a budding retailer hoping to sell nightwear online, hence the distinctive name. It had plans to grow online first before launching into high street stores, but things didn’t go quite according
to plan.

Instead, the brand was almost immediately picked up by House of Fraser – the label’s first account – and John Lewis was hot on its heels. Today, Cyberjammies still counts these retail giants as loyal customers.

“The whole plan was that we’d launch online and we’d invest in a campaign, but as luck would have it, we never really launched like that – people saw our product and we went straight into store. We didn’t think we’d launch into store until the following season,” reflects Sadarangani.

Cyberjammies attributes its initial success to the quality of its products.

“What differentiated Cyberjammies from the offset was that our fabrics were designed to be fit for purpose – they are not fabrics you can just buy from the mill – they are actually created by our team,” says Sadarangani.

“Also, we were one of the first brands to launch separates. Thirteen years ago you could get your robe, you could get your chemise, but you couldn’t just buy a pyjama bottom or pyjama top. We provided that flexibility and choice. We allowed people to mix and match and influence their own style to some extent.”

Brand director Mark Tweed agrees and adds: “We will always make sure that our product is extra special.

“We have been with John Lewis and House of Fraser for over 10 years and the fact that we’ve been able to maintain those two big accounts for as long as we have is a testament to the brand.

“They will naturally want to keep developing their range and bring new brands in, but we’re the brand that has been consistently running alongside them.”

 
Business partnerships

Cyberjammies also prides itself on the fact that its parent company, Cebon Apparel, has full control over its manufacturing facility in India, enabling the brand to offer flexible services to its customers.

“All of our units are owned by the company itself. When you’re sourcing product from someone else, you’re limited to their production capacity, their slots and minimums,” explains Sadarangani.

“We can offer a lot of flexibility to our customers, so they can make repeat orders and they can get instantaneous reactions from us because we can flex our production capacity accordingly.”

Tweed explains that Cyberjammies has also established solid partnerships with its textile mills.

“It helps because we can call in a lot of favours from the mills, in terms of how quickly we can turn things around!” he explains, laughing. “But we have been working with the same mills since the start. We wouldn’t negotiate a cheaper price with another mill.”

Sadarangani agrees, adding: “Cyberjammies is about providing unbelievable quality with fashion-forward design, made with love.”

Financial performance

As more stockists have discovered Cyberjammies, sales have grown year-on-year, and 2015 has been no exception.

“I’m pleased to say that, given the fact that we have been around for quite a while, this year has been phenomenal. I’m probably understating it by saying that we’re 50% up across the piece,” Tweed says proudly.

“Each year has been getting that bit stronger, but this year the growth has been incredible. Literally, every single day a customer will call us and say a product is flying out the door and they ask for more. Repeats are constant.”

Sadarangani continues: “The performance from the team has just been exceptional. Even last year, we were 37% up, so we’re 50% up on the rise last year. We’re just accelerating.”

So why the sudden growth spurt? “I actually think it’s because Cyberjammies is the best kept secret, but we’re working on changing that,” Sadarangani suggests.

Tweed adds: “We’re making the brand look so much stronger visually so that the end consumer knows how special we are. We are bringing in an end customer and we are bringing in a retail customer as a result of the work we’ve been doing.

“Last week, four new stores contacted us and we said ‘are you thinking about spring or next autumn?’ and they said, ‘no, I want it now’. They had only just found us, so there is so much business that is yet untapped.”

Marketing strategy

The nightwear business has recently invested in marketing and PR to grow the brand, revamping its website and point of sale materials with new campaign imagery and a new slogan: ‘seriously comfortable’.

“We are very aware that we haven’t necessarily done a great job at selling to the end customer until this point. I think that we’ll be so much stronger now, with the new campaign imagery,” explains Tweed.

“We’ve spent a lot of time changing the appearance of the website over the last couple of years and really making sure that we continue to develop that. As people are getting used to Cyberjammies, people are happy to shop from our website and the numbers are reflecting that.”

At the time of interviewing, Cyberjammies was working with its new PR consultant, CiCi PR, to place its new imagery into consumer magazines.

“This week, it will be going into Stylist and InStyle magazines for the first time,” explains Cristie Herbert, creative director of CiCi PR.

“This is the first time the brand has ever worked with a PR agency or even put the brand out there to press. We’re also looking after the social media platforms and they’re growing in followers on a weekly basis.”

Tweed and Sadarangani have also been working with branding agencies to advertise the business on some of country’s busiest
high streets.

“The campaign is going to go on escalator panels in London Underground stations. We’re principally focused on the two biggies; John Lewis and House of Fraser on Oxford Street, so we’re going to be firing as much business as we can towards these stores – our two biggest stockists in the country,” says Tweed.

“So the imagery will be placed on the escalators at Oxford Street and Bond Street stations, in phone boxes on Oxford Street and around Leicester Square and up to Baker Street. We’ll also have the campaign featured on 12 sheet [120 inches wide] posters in stations from the middle of November until the middle of December.”

Sadarangani jumps in excitedly and adds: “We’re 50% up already and we’ve not even done any of this yet!”

“Once you start a momentum like this, the retailers who are with you really reap the rewards, so I personally think it’s a very exciting time. We’re all dying for tomorrow.”

International growth

Cyberjammies is currently stocked in all the John Lewis stores, 30 House of Fraser stores, around 85 AIS stores, 80 plus independent stores and nine Fenwick stores in the UK.

The nightwear and loungewear brand can also be found online at Figleaves and Amazon, and is available through mail order with Kaleidoscope.

It is clear that the UK is currently Cyberjammies’ biggest market, but the nightwear brand has been working hard at expanding on an international level in recent months.

“In all honesty, because our focus has already been on the UK, it makes up 85% of our business, so the international side is still comparatively small,” says Tweed.

“The good news, from an international point of view, is that if we feel like we are still undiscovered in this country then, my God, we have massive worth out there.”

Cyberjammies has a small presence in around 14 different countries, but there are two key markets – Japan and Germany – that are showing the most potential.

“Both countries, from our perspective, are quite a natural fit with Cyberjammies – they stand for quality, and people pay for good quality,” explains Tweed.

The brand has hired a new intern to help form new partnerships with retailers in Germany.

“Our biggest European market is Germany and our challenge is to take it from there to there,” Tweed says as he points from the ground to the ceiling.

“With the amount of work we have done I have no doubt that we will have a pretty special few months ahead in terms of the various different fairs,” he adds.

Cyberjammies will be heading to the Supreme Body and Beach trade show in Munich in the New Year.

“Japan has also been fantastic,” Tweed continues. “We have an excellent distributor there who completely understands the product and has taken us straight into the major department stores like Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya. The business has been pretty instant.”

New products

Adding to its long list of plans to ensure future growth, Cyberjammies is preparing to launch a children’s sleepwear range at Salon International de la Lingerie, which opens at the Port de Verailles in Paris on January 23.
The new collection, named Minijammies, is designed for boys and girls aged between four and 11 years old.

It is currently under development, but has already generated interest from a number of buyers.

“The reaction has almost been nutty in some cases,” says Sadarangani, almost in disbelief. “We’ve had conversations about the new range with our leading retailers like John Lewis and they are very excited. For them, it makes a lot of sense.”

Design details are under wraps for now, but Sadarangani hinted that the new range will be an extension of Cyberjammies.

“Without giving away too much, we’ll be offering ranges where the father and son or the mother and daughter might be wearing the same thing, but in a different size, on Christmas morning.”

Cyberjammies will also launch a broader menswear collection at the Paris show.

The label already offers a small range of men’s loungewear, but this has expanded under a new brand name, JimJams, with more styles available.

Cyberjammies had launched a small range of beachwear earlier this year – Lingerie Insight’s Sarah Clarke was one of the first people to see the collection at Moda Lingerie and Swimwear in August – but the brand soon realised that it was heading down the wrong path after this sudden change in direction.

“Beachwear is not our focus, I have got to be honest,” says Sadarangani.

“We rapped ourselves on the knuckles and said ‘stay with your core competencies’” he jokes.

“And what we’ve done, in my opinion, is 100 times more exciting than what we were going to do in beachwear.

“So instead of focusing on beachwear, we have moved our attention to growing Cyberjammies and launching JimJams and Minijammies.”

The Cyberjammies team believes that quality children’s pyjamas are missing from the nightwear market.

“They shrink beyond belief, to the point where you say, ‘what was that?’ or ‘what character was that?’,” Tweed says, laughing.

Sadarangani adds: “I just think it’s going to be incredibly fun to work on and I’d love to think that whoever is running the company in 30 years from now looks back and sees customers who joined us as a child, and have always been a Cyberjammies customer.”

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