Finally, lingerie has come out of the closet. As a Technopak study reveals, the Indian lingerie market is growing at 22 per cent and is projected to grow to $9 billion in next four years. The growth story includes the setting up of new stores, adding new suave retail design and adding more brands. The Indian retail market, in the last few years, has included a league of globally-celebrated lingerie brands like Hunkemoller, Women’Secret, among others. This international repertoire is further likely to be strengthened with the addition of exciting names like Victoria’s Secret and Pink.
Domestic brands dominate
Even though top foreign brands are making a beeline for India homegrown brands still lead in terms of store network and business. Spanish brand Women’Secret entered India last year with Tablez Group and has set up three stores so far in Bengaluru and Mumbai. Slated to add 12 stores by 2019-end, the group plans to strengthen its presence in the East and South India along with metros like Delhi and Mumbai.
Surprisingly, international multi brands are still not available in India. This is likely to change soon as Hashtag Plus, an NCR-based start-up by D’Art Retail, is bringing some leading international brands from the US, Canada and Southeast Asia and will soon start rolling out stores across India, Middle East and Africa through franchisees.
Tilt towards organised brands
Online brands like Zivame, Clovia and PrettySecrets are adopting the omnichannel route, attracting funds and building a robust brick-and-mortar network. The trio reported a combined revenue of Rs 100 crore two fiscals back. Today, they have more than doubled this revenue. Many of these brands are new and have an online origin. The top 10 Indian lingerie brands contribute less than 7 per cent to overall business with the bigger business still lying with unorganised, semi-organised and regionally popular brands. However, many of these customers are now turning to organised brands that offer competitive price points, elevated styles and customer experience.
Small town experiences
Along with metros and big cities, small towns are turning out to be big markets for organised brands. Leading omnichannel brand, PrettySecrets, which has consolidated its presence across mom-and-pops lingerie stores, opened its first EBO about a year ago at Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. Today, the brand has two stores in Itanagar and the first store still remains one of the most successful one.
Along with the products on display, what drives consumers towards a particular brand is a good in-store experience. To ensure this, brands are adopting a three-fold approach of providing a good fitting experience, comfort and educating the consumers about the product. For example, Enamor’s Fabulous Flagship format store at Phoenix Marketcity Bengaluru, brings different size of mannequins, educational videos for trial rooms and individual VM stories for environment for women to shop for lingerie.
Malls and shop windows no longer shy away from bra-clad mannequins. Similarly, the gap between discreet perfunctory shopping and leisure retail experience has been filled by aggressive marketing campaigns and wide choices offered by some of the smart lingerie brands. However, organised lingerie brands still account for only a marginal percentage of the exponential opportunity that this category offers.