Retail choice: Sweaty Betty

How many busy, would-be sporty, working women out there suffer from a fear of entering a high-street sporting emporium where a steroid-pumped 18-year-old assistant treats you with disdain?

How many of you have experienced the sheer frustration of trying on a swimsuit in the tiny changing room of a department store with no one to hear you ask for another size?

Don't despair. Big dressing rooms, big mirrors and friendly female assistants who don't suffer from athletic elitism can all be found at Sweaty Betty stores. This business is run by women whose apparent aim is to increase other women's confidence.

The shops are small, but denote friendliness, space and airiness through their design. This is because the stock isn't excessive, but focused on complete outfits in a range of great colours for key activities such as yoga, swimming, the gym or skiing.

Each store has a 'community' area where you can find out about local classes and 'Betty' running clubs. The online offering at extends this further by offering exercise tips, healthcare advice and pictures of staff at play.

This makes the brand a live experience, rather than just a place to buy leggings, and supports a targeted lifestyle proposition with communities of online and real Bettys across the UK.

And if your best intentions fail, you know you'll still look great in your Stella McCartney vest and trackie as you slob in front of the TV.

- Design: In-house.


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