Interview with Theo Paphitis at Boux Avenue Launch

“So Theo, tell us.. Would you describe yourself as a Romantic?”, was probably not an opening question Dragon and business extraordinaire, Theo Paphitis, is used to being asked at the beginning of an interview, but I (and new co-editor Lucy Whife) like to ask the hard-hitting questions. In this case, however, it was an appropriate context for the question as we were attending the press launch of Mr Paphitis’ new, luxurious (and romantic) lingerie store, Boux Avenue, which opened on Thursday in the Bullring. The answer to this question was of course, yes, with him admitting, “I could sit and listen to Adele all day long, shed a few tears!” ( to all his business opponents it appears we have found a weakness!). 

Theo Paphitis, one of Britain’s most successful businessmen, is famous for his appearance on the BBC series Dragons’ Den, as well as his business ventures in Ryman’s Stationary and La Senza. Not withdrawing from the recent administration of the latter, he has come back fighting with a new lingerie line. We asked him how this store would differentiate from La Senza and other shops on the high street. “La Senza was a baby of mine”, he replied, “but Boux Avenue will only be a 20 to 25 store chain. It’s all about modern technology and modern retail concepts, but still linking with traditional values.” 

His comment on technology is evidently true; on arriving in the store, customers find small electronic screens continually changing to show latest promotions and offers, prices and lingerie previews – a modern touch that very few retail stores have taken advantage of. Similarly, all the fitting rooms offer customers the choice of three light settings, so you have the chance to see how you will look in a night, dusk or light setting, as well as a small speaker to send through any questions to the sales assistants on the fitting rooms. It is very fancy! Indeed the light settings was one of our favourite aspects of the store and Theo explained the logic behind it: “In January, ladies, without a tan, wearing underwear, under a great big bloody fluorescent strip you’re not going to be looking at your best are you?” A bold statement, but we have to say, very true.

Theo believes that “it’s all about the customer”, and making you feel good in lingerie in January is surely the best kind of customer service there is? The sales assistants also echoed this ethos of attentive customer service and were knowledgeable about the brand and products.

As for the products themselves, Boux Avenue offers a selection of lacy and romantic lingerie, as well as more practical pieces like t-shirt bras, slippers and dressing gowns. We also spied one piece of underwear that looked suspiciously like a re-make of the infamous ‘Bridget Jones pants’ – let’s hope they’re making a comeback. With prices varying from £10 bras to more expensive £48 corsets, it accessibly combines high street prices and boutique exclusivity, whilst further appealing to students with a 10% student discount.

It was slightly disappointing that the store had a limited selection of swimwear and no sport underwear, but despite this, Boux Avenue is an ideal destination for anything from a birthday present, to a Bridget Jones pair of knickers or a silky nightwear slip. Here were my three favourite pieces: 


So join Theo on his latest ‘romantic’ business venture by visiting Boux Avenue (he’s a lovable Dragon really).

2 Responses to “Interview with Theo Paphitis at Boux Avenue Launch”
  1. This is gorgeous, love your blog!

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