Once considered only as indoor wear, sleepwear and loungewear is gaining prominence as a category in the apparel market, with a promising future. Innovation in product design, product offerings, and new subcategories are the key factors that are helping this category grow.
According to a report by a leading global technology research and advisory company, the global sleepwear and loungewear market is all set to grow at a CAGR of nearly 9 percent during the forecast period 2019-2023.
The report indicates that the increase in availability of sleepwear and loungewear products is one of the major trends being witnessed in the global sleepwear and loungewear market 2019-2023. Vendors are even entering the luxury segment to off er premium products to high-end customers. Moreover, the rise in middle-class consumers along with growing demand for branded products will help the vendors venture into the luxury category. During the forecast period, many existing sleepwear and loungewear vendors are likely to enter the luxury segment, which in turn is expected to boost the overall growth of the market.
According to dominant knitwear player, Lux, the sleepwear and loungewear market in India is creating a major buzz in the knitwear segment due to which knitwear has secured itself a prominent position in the fashionable apparel segment, beyond simple indoor wear. “Going with the trend, the future of sleepwear and loungewear seems bright and promising. The market is said to be growing at 20 percent CAGR, roughly,” says Udit Todi, Senior Vice President, Lux Industries.
Vishal Jain, Founder and CEO, Tab91 agreed saying, “Nowadays, the sleepwear and loungewear category is shifting from the notion of boring nightwear to becoming a wardrobe essential. The apparel category, is currently estimated to be worth Rs 30,281 crore, which accounts for 10 percent of the total apparel market in 2018 and is expected to grow by 12 to 15 percent every year.”
The relevance of sleepwear and loungewear has grown incrementally due to the kind of lifestyle that people lead in today’s time, according to Gargi Ruparelia, Head of Marketing, Sweet Dreams. “Work, education, personal life, everything has become competitive and one is always on the go. With such a rollicking life comes the need to a quick comfort dressing when relaxing. Besides this, sleepwear and loungewear have also become a fashion statement with increased number of casual gatherings like pajama parties, movie nights and destination weddings,” she says. “Also, Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities have been using sleepwear as streetwear making it extremely aspirational for customers.”
Vishal Jain also adds, “We can easily see people wearing loungewear at the airport, to college, in shopping malls, etc. It is dominating every space.”
The increase in the buying power and disposable income among consumers in Tier II, III towns and cities and even in smaller pockets has caused an uptick in spending patterns.
According to the spokesperson of Rupa & Co., the company which offers loungewear solution through its brand, Bumchums, the sleepwear and loungewear category is growing rapidly across Tier I, II and smaller markets. “Consumers are increasingly exploring this category, driven by greater lifestyle consciousness and aspirations,” says the spokesperson.
Dharmendra Nathvani, Owner and Director, La Lingerie states, “With gradual development of social media and people having access to more content, information on essential sleepwear is out there and people are accessing it.” A prominent multi-brand retailer from the East, he stresses on the potential of Tier II and III markets. “The growth in these regions is tremendous as they have more spending power compared to our metropolitans. If the average ticket size of the product ranges anywhere between Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000, then yes, the consumers are spending on this category though the percentage of people spending is still small when compared to the population of our country.”
“There is no doubt that the sleepwear and loungewear is a quick fashion option gaining much popularity among the youth,” acknowledges Udit Todi. “Like any other apparel segment, this segment too enjoys very high retail space today.”
“Even in LFS, space for loungewear and sleepwear has increased in share since the business they are bringing in is almost the same as lingerie. Aside from this, a lot of focused standalone stores of sleepwear and activewear have also come up as well,” states Gargi Ruparelia.
Innovation & Portfolio Extension
According to market analysts, the demand for visually-appealing sleep and loungewear is driving the market. Consumers today, especially women, are particular about their outfits and although sleepwear and loungewear are worn inside the house, the preference for visually-appealing products with better features is high. Retailers are innovating, expanding their product range and catering to different requirements, hence attracting more customers and driving the expansion of the market.
Since comfort and style drives this apparel segment, the use of latest fabric-technology has allowed Bumchums to design and deliver stylish products, which feel great on the skin while being extremely comfortable. Some of the latest techinnovations adding value to the segment are wrinkle free fabric, biowash fabric and i-cool finish. “Seamless is the latest technological shift that we are seeing right now.
Fabrics such as modal, organic fabrics and dry fit are the new age fabrics to work with. Brands are aggressively catering to the demands of the consumer by bringing in a shift in their collection,” says Dharmendra Nathvani.
“In terms of fabrics, lots of breathable, super soft treated fabrics are in. New technology like fragrance fabric is also being used internationally,” adds Gargi Ruparelia.
Another trend which is big in the sleepwear and loungewear segment is matching couple sets and customised apparel. According to Gargi Ruparelia, bridal and bridesmaids sleepwear is a very special category. At Sweet Dreams, they offer good quality products with imported fabrics and luxe designs. “These are specialised engineered products, as they need to fit the best. Hardly any brands in India are doing this in a focused way but the scope is huge,” she says.
Vishal Jain also says that the Indian woman today is bold when it comes to aspirations. She is now choosy and has started giving importance to every single thing that she wears. He says that if organised, the bridal sleepwear segment is a very big segment and has the potential to grow at the rate of 7 percent per annum, and the Indian consumer is ready to pay for a special product.
The Road Ahead
According to the Lux company spokesperson, most people today have become very particular about their outfits, they tend to wear it as a fashion statement and hence the demand for visually-appealing sleepwear and loungewear is driving the market.
“There is a tremendous opportunity in this segment, but we still need to create a lot of awareness in multiple cities for the benefit of comfort and fashion to be worn at night,” says Dharmendra Nathvani.
“There are lots of new untapped consumer segments who can be converted to organised sleepwear,” concludes Gargi Ruparelia.