Gone are the days when innerwear was positioned only as a garment of requirement. Today, among the core apparel categories, innerwear is all poised to be a prospectively flourishing segment with a slew of comfortable and innovative products that have the modern customer spoilt for choice.
Beautiful women and good looking men: we see them everywhere; in ads, in hoardings and in every market place. There is no denying the good looks these men and women carry, because you see them out there, dressed only in their undergarments. Yes, this is the dominance of today’s underwear market in India. And its leap from underwear to ‘Innerwear’!
Today, innerwear has come out of its dark closet. From being just a fundamental wear to becoming a fashion quotient, innerwear has brilliantly created a niche for itself in this contemporary market. With the rising incomes, passion for fashion and need for comfort, this segment is sure to evolve even more.
Initially, the innerwear market belonged to an unorganized platform. But with the mounting need for quality and comfort, organized innerwear segments came into existence and have been growing ever since.
According to market analysis by Technopak, the current market size of the innerwear market is worth Rs 27,931 crore which is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10 percent over the next decade to become Rs 74,258 crore by 2027.
Between 2000 and 2008, the premium international brands began penetrating the Indian market. However, there were Indian brands that started exhibiting their new and stylish designs with an aim to capture the interest of the Indian women. Gradually, innerwear entered the retail world through EBOs, LFS and departmental stores.
The Indian Innerwear Market
The evolution of innerwear market in India is majorly rooted in urban India. With attention towards western outfits and an increasing demand for occasion and outfit-based innerwear, the market has seen a holistic boom. Today, people look for innerwear with optimum functionality and comfort. Manufacturers and brands are focusing on innovative product line that fulfills all the requirements of the new-age customer.
Speaking about the current scenario of Indian innerwear market, Vinod Kumar Gupta, Executive Managing Director, Dollar Bigboss said, “Currently, innerwear is one of the high growth categories in the apparel market in India. With modern trends and product innovations, innerwear has turned from a conventionally utilitarian item to an essential fashion constraint.”
The rising purchasing power among customers and the increasing number of working women are other factors that have boosted the market. Customers are now aware of better fit, quality, specific colours and styling and more. Therefore, the growth of this segment is clearly visible in the organised retail where they are offering customers with the perfect space to choose. They are also enabling the brands to upgrade their brand outlook.
The Innovative Manufacturing
In today’s age, what you wear underneath your clothes is more comfortable, more authentic, looks exquisite, and at certain times helps in boosting your confidence. With the increasing demand for comfort and style, innerwear today is being manufactured using present-day fabrics, while giving them trendy designs.
On being asked about the new manufacturing technology adoption in innerwear, Vinod Kumar Gupta said, “The innerwear industry is fi lled with advancements and innovation. The amount of various types of innerwear and the variations are huge in number. This category is quickly fusing innovation into its articles of clothing.”
The prime sales driving factor for Dollar is its established prominence in the retail platform. The brand indulges in introducing new-age manufacturing techniques and products and bringing out to the people. All the brands are becoming fashion driven and delivering products with multiple needs, rather than just offering basic coverage.
“Every good brand aspires to make its customers happy. Over the years we have emphasized upon this attributes and brought forth products that are designed to offer comfort, as well as look good”, Vinod Kumar Gupta added.
Value For Money
In India, the domestic innerwear market is experiencing a tremendous roar. Recently, the market is witnessing the advent of premium innerwear brands along with the entry of global brands. Customers do not overlook crucial requirements like quality and comfort, therefore, they are ready the amount required. With increasing amount of disposable income the experience of international Indian customers are spending on innerwear than before. Many and established brands are focusing introducing newer and better line, while adhering to customer satisfaction.
Sharing his view on value for money, Vinod Kumar Gupta said that the Indian innerwear market was once highly price sensitive and people spent on innerwear cautiously. However, the market changed and at present the trends have all augmented.
“The changing trends and influence of western fashion has changed the perception of the customers. They are willing spend more for better and designer products. So, we are responding these changing consumer preferences and expanding the product ranges are value-based to cater their need,” said Vinod Kumar Gupta.
Giving a more specific bifurcation of the price blocks, Sanjay Jain, Managing Director, TT said, “Price points vary based on the range and category of products. The basic mass range of innerwear is Rs 60 to Rs 150, the premium mass range of innerwear is Rs 100 to Rs 250, the premium range is Rs 150 to Rs 400 and the luxury range is Rs 400 to Rs 3,000.”
The Modern-Day Customers
The growth of the innerwear segment in India can also be attributed to the introduction of various international brands and the organized players. Customers are focusing more on quality and buying more products than before. The increasing conscious of women customers regarding the brands and styles have also boosted the market. This candidness to indulge in branded innerwear has made way for the growth of both international and domestic innerwear brands in India. By adding different silhouettes to every innerwear category, brands have changed the tides for the Indian customer.
On being asked if the Indian consumer is willing to pay higher for quality and value-added products in innerwear, Sanjay Jain said, “Yes the urban consumers are willing to pay higher for quality and value added products. But, the majority of the volume comes from the rural markets or the so called semi-urban markets wherein it is very price sensitive.”
According to Vinod Kumar Gupta, with the change in lifestyle and influence of western trends, the Indian consumers have become much more brand aspiring and fashion conscious. But, they are price sensitive with respect to their buying preferences.
He added, “Domestic organised brands like us are at par with the international standards and offerings, if trend and quality are concerned. We offer value-based trendy products that are up to the minute.”
New Fabrics & Trends
People desire comfort and style, both blended together and are not shy to goahead and satiate their desires. This is similar to the innerwear market. Cotton has always been highly preferred in this segment, but today with technical advancements, we notice a wide array of comfortable fabrics being used. From nylon to organic cotton, spandex blend cotton fabric to modal and from micro-fiber to more durable material, materials used for manufacturing innerwear have come much beyond, compared to what it was.
Highlighting the advancement in technology and fabric, Vinod Kumar Gupta shared, “The stretch fabric is a new trend in the innerwear industry. It is used for the briefs as well as vests. People prefer these fabrics due to the comfort as well as the fit of the same. Apart from stretch fabric, we have introduced trendy trunk made of micro-modal fabric.”
Vinod Kumar Gupta also added that the innerwear industry is filled with advancements and innovation. The amount of various types of innerwear is huge in number. This category is quickly fusing innovation into its articles of clothing. There is advent of new shades like pop colours, glow shine waist bands, abstract patterns, stretchable wears and quick dry fabrics. Dollar is constantly looking to upgrade its products depending on the requirement.
The Emerging Categories
It is quite evident that there are many new sub-categories in the innerwear segment for both man and woman. With the modern woman becoming more fashion and fitness conscious and the man giving importance to their inner beauty, the market is witnessing the bloom of various sub-segments.
Elaborating on this, Vinod Kumar Gupta said, “Indian consumers are becoming conscious about their attire and every purpose. In Indian innerwear market there is an emergence categories like shape wear, intimate wear, active wear, racer backs many more to come with the trend.”
Some of the other categories or trends are gaining popularity are Prints, Spandex Blend and Bio Wash.
Similar adults, kids too require assorted type of undergarments. These requirements may vary from place to place and age group. Owning to the sensitive skin of children, the manufacturing of their innerwear requires special measures.
In India, kids’ apparel is one of the fastest growing markets in India. According to a market analysis, the first thing that parents consider while purchasing undergarment for their kids is its ‘Fit’. Listing the second consideration are styles, designs, colours and brand name. However, lots of people opt for brands, as they ensure quality of the product. ‘Price’ stands at a lower position indicating that consumers are ready to spend for good quality and well fi tted undergarments.
According to Sanjay Jain, “The kids’ innerwear is still an unorganized segment with very few brands servicing. The potential would be huge if the segment is channelized properly.”
On the same subject, Vinod Kumar Gupta said, “Market for kids’ apparel is the fastest growing industry in India and the organized players are laying a strong foundation in this segment. Though there’s no particular share for kids innerwear, but Indian kids’ wear branded market is growing at 15 percent per annum.”
The growth opportunity for the Indian innerwear market is beyond imagination. Moreover, the growth story of Indian customer is also expected to revive. Brands are widening their reach and extending their product ranges. While elevating the fashion quotient, various
international and domestic innerwear brands in India are also expanding their collection beyond just innerwear. This includes active-wear, comfortwear and sleep-wear. Therefore, there are a plethora of prospects for all the innerwear brands in the Indian market.