Unlike traditional stores, at Intimacy appointments are made in advance. In the privacy of large tastefully furnished fitting rooms, a bra fit specialist works with the customer to find the proper fit and style. This unique experience, actually more service than product centered, is based on owner Susan Nethero’s concept of improving women’s image of themselves. (The brand is a favorite of Oprah Winfrey and has been featured several times on her show.) Intimacy’s ‘look good, feel good’ philosophy is reflected throughout the store’s luxurious spa-like interiors.

Comfort is Intimacy’s ultimate goal as a personalized bra fitting can be an intimidating process. The frosted glass window at the entrance provides a sense of privacy and remove from the mall environs as customers make their way to the Welcome Counter. Here, women can make appointments, ask questions or sit and watch educational videos. The counter’s open design and inviting location separate it from the cash wrap and more transactional areas.

Instead of devoting the majority of floor space to merchandise, at Intimacy the dressing rooms constitute almost half the store’s square footage. The rooms are spacious enough to comfortably seat two and are luxuriously appointed in a soft palette and contemporary furnishings. A custom-designed bench upholstered in suede provides a comfortable place to sit, while a small table offers a flat surface for merchandise. In each room, a George Nelson pendant Bubble Lamp emits a softly diffused light that is reflected by a wall mounted three-way mirror. Privacy is ensured through floor-to-ceiling walls and sliding doors. The overall effect puts customers at ease and adds a sense of occasion to what is normally a mundane or stressful process.

In keeping with Intimacy’s mission to ensure garments are of a proper fit, a limited amount of merchandise is on display. Instead, bra fit specialists bring the appropriate apparel to the customer who is waiting in the dressing room. Lingerie and sleepwear constitute the majority of floor merchandise, while a few examples of intimate apparel are arranged on a display wall. The bulk of the merchandise is stored in giant floor-to-ceiling gold leaf cabinets. These cabinets hold Intimacy’s enormous range of sizes and designs in commanding ‘jewel boxes’ that dominate the space.

The design has been rolled out in 14 cities, with growth continuing through the economic downturn.