Like other segments in Indian retail industry, lingerie is also attracting big foreign brands. Triumph, one of the foreign brands to enter India is trying to get a foothold here.
Senior correspondent Karan Mude chats with Thorsten Allenstein, GM and Country Head (India) of Triumph International India Private Limited, on how the company perceives the Indian lingerie market and its plans for the same.
Q. The first question that comes to mind is why have you chosen India?
Ans: Overall, luxury and international brands are well accepted in India. The market is evolving and more and more people are being exposed to international brands and trends. Customers have high disposable incomes and do not really think twice before splurging. It’s ‘value for money’ products that people are opting for. Price is no longer a barrier as consumers are now more quality-conscious than price-driven. Also, with high income and double income spends increasing, people are going for international brands. For example, Triumph is doing well in markets like Jaipur, where our products are available in three large-format stores. India as a nation is ready for luxury. The market share of the top five retailers in India totals less than two per cent. As one can see, there is a huge potential waiting to be tapped.
Q. What is the USP of your brand?
Ans: Our USP is, first, ‘best fitting,’ and second, ‘quality.’ This is the feedback from our customers and these are the attributes they respect the most in our brand. Passionate about quality and endlessly attentive to detail, Triumph is dedicated to helping women feel beautiful, comfortable and confident everyday of their lives by emphasising its core values – comfort, quality, innovation and fashion.
Q. The Indian market is a mass market and Triumph is a premium brand. Which segment are you targeting and what is the price range of your products? Do you have anything in the pipeline for the masses?
Ans: Across industries and categories, premium and international brands are already present or being launched, be it watches, cosmetics, cars, or lingerie. High-end products are fast moving in across metros and mini-metros.
Triumph covers the whole range from mid to premium, with prices ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 2,500. Bold colours and styles are also well accepted, though smaller towns go more with the basic styles. The focus is still on metros, but smaller markets are not far behind.
Q. What route are you going to take to increase retail presence in India? Is it going to be franchise stores, MBOs, EBOs, or shop-in-shop format?
Ans: We are already present in all leading retail formats including department stores and MBOs. We are now looking into the possibility of opening franchise stores and are on the lookout for suitable franchisees.
Q. How is the lingerie market in India growing? What do you think about its future?
Ans: The lingerie market in India is still in its infancy, and until recently, the availability of high-quality intimate apparel was limited to infrequent or grey imports sold under the counter.
Due to the limited availability and the lack of a specialised and organised retail ambience, the fashion consciousness and quality awareness of the Indian consumer for intimate apparel is yet to be fully developed. The category, so far, has been largely marketed as a commodity and was price- and margin-driven.
Over the past few years, the consumer in the metros and the larger cities has become more aware of the nature and quality of products and brands available in the more developed economies. Now one can see the emergence of a new class of consumers in the country that is younger (867 million people below 54 years of age) and urbanized, and has the income to satisfy its aspirations, resulting in an increasing demand for quality products, brands and services.
Q. Tell us something about the customer loyalty programme that Triumph has planned for India.
Ans: Triumph’s range in India focuses on fashion as well as the functional aspects of ladies’ intimate apparel, creating globally best-selling products. In India, Triumph’s goal is to expand the women’s inner wear category by offering high-quality, fashionable, comfortable and durable products at affordable prices. Triumph has done extensive research and the introductory range was specifically selected and designed based on the physical attributes and lifestyles of the average Indian woman.