Home Fashion Indian denim wear market growing at CAGR of 11 percent

Indian denim wear market growing at CAGR of 11 percent


With new technologies, trends and higher market reach, the denim sector has promising growth potential. Ashish Dhir, Associate Vice President, Fashion-Textile & Apparel and Saima Nigar-Associate Consultnat, Fashion-Textile & Apparel, Technopak, map the status of denims in India today.

Indian retail market is estimated to be worth Rs 53,06,400 crore (US$ 792 billion) in 2018 and is expected to reach Rs 1,50,68,300 crore (US$ 2,249 billion) by 2028, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11 percent. It is envisaged that the current fashion retail market worth Rs 3,61,000 crore (US$ 54 billion) will grow at a promising CAGR of 8.1 percent for next ten years to reach Rs 7,88,500 crore (US$ 118 billion) by 2028.

Indian apparel industry, which is the second largest contributor in the retail industry after food and grocery, is seeing some major shifts. Entry of international brands,changes in preferences from non-branded to branded, the fast growing economy, large young consuming population in the country has made India a highly lucrative market.

India has the world’s largest youth population, which is becoming fashion conscious owing to mass media and social media penetration. This has opened unprecedented retail market opportunities. The promising growth rate of 8.1 percent makes Indian fashion industry prominent in the retail sector.


The Indian denim market is exhibiting continuous growth over the years. With new technologies, trends and higher market reach, this sector has promising growth potential. Even in rural areas, denim is becoming highly fashionable with most men and teenager girls opting denim wear over traditional outfits.

Denim wear market is estimated to be Rs 29,203 crore in 2018. Denim wear market is expected to grow at CAGR of 12 percent and reach Rs 91,894 crore by 2028. The market in India is dominated by men’s segment, accounting ~86 percent of the total market size. However, women denim wear segment is expected show higher CAGR of 13 percent than men’s segment (12 percent).

Denim is a high growth category as it is fashionable and comfortable, and enhances style quotient. The value growth within the denim wear owes to increased demand for stretch and light weight fabric, varying colours, styling and detailing. This trend is emerging across all categories (men’s, women’s and kids).

As of 2018, 40 percent of the denim market is branded. However, there is pricing gap in the branded market with most of the branded offering is across mid to premium due to which brands are not able to cater significant needs of the market. The unbranded share is 60 percent of the total denim market and is marked by fragmented nature of supply. So, there is an opportunity for the private label play in the denim market in the value segment. Hence, value fashion retailers such as fbb, V-Mart, Max fashion can grow by plugging the need gap in the value denim market.


Within the overall Indian apparel market, the denim wear market has evolved significantly over the last couple of years. The industry has witnessed rapid growth, triggered by increasing usage of western wear by fashion conscious youths. The change in classification of consumer wardrobe has acted as a growth driver for denim wear in India. Denim wear brands are growing across all segments of the Indian market (premium, medium and value for money). International denim brands like Pepe Jeans, Levi’s, Wrangler and Flying Machine etc have witnessed rapid growth over last few years.

Certain factors which are contributing as key growth drivers of denim wear in the country are enumerated below:

YOUTH AS A GROWTH DRIVER: Youth (15 to 29 years old) who comprise 26 percent of the consuming population, are a key growth driver of denim wear in the country. Increasing disposable income, comfort, quality and brand consciousness are major reasons behind increasing acceptance of denim wear among this young population.

INFLUENCE OF INTERNATIONAL BRANDS: The entry of the international brands in the country is one of the biggest drivers of denim wear. Their entry has widened the perspective of consumers which in turn has resulted in higher acceptability of new trends, styles in the market. With the increasing exposure to international fashion trends, the Indian consumer today is aware of global trends and has given him more variety to choose from. The value growth within the denimwear owes to increased demand for enhanced product attributes: fashion quotient, stretch and lightweight fabric, varying colours, styling and detailing. This trend is emerging across both men’s and women’s segments. The aforementioned factors shall combine to drive relatively higher levels of growth of the Mid Premium and Premium/Luxury segments.

INCREASED RURAL SPENDING : Rural areas are developing at a rapid pace and so is their purchasing power. With the percolation of mass media, people in rural areas are also aware of fashion trends.

Their inclination towards western trends is another reason for the growing demand of denims in rural areas. The mid-value segment of denim wear, characterized by quality, value-for-money, and increasing styling quotient, is the preferred choice of people from rural areas.

CASUALIZATION OF FASHION: The Indian casual wear market has evolved significantly over the years. Casual wear categories such as denim, activewear, casual shirts, and fashionable skirts are outpacing the growth of formal wear in India. This is reflective of the changing consumer trend and increasing usage of casual wear in offices as well as home. This shift in consumer’s wardrobe towards casual wear has acted as a growth driver for the denim wear in India. The casualization of fashion is not unique to India and is driven by global phenomena.

ALTERNATIVE RETAIL CHANNEL: Alternative apparel retailing is evolving in India in a rapid pace; jeans are no exception to this trend. Direct selling, home shopping and e-tailing are gaining momentum in the market.

RISE OF PRIVATE LABEL: Branded penetration in the market has a skew towards mid to premium price points and there is very limited offering in the value price points leading to pricing gaps in the market. These gaps in the market have provided an opportunity for retailers to launch their private label in the value segment. Private label led players such as FBB, Max and V-Mart have identified these gaps and have launched products in the value fashion segment.

Private labels are win-win solution for both big retailers and value for money first time consumers as these labels ensure that a certain minimum quality and image. Young population from middle class India is becoming image conscious and is a significant contributor to the western wear market.

SUPER PREMIUM JEANS HAS EMERGED AS THE BEST PERFORMING CATEGORY: Increasing popularity of luxury international brands coupled with rising income has resulted in making super premium jeans, one of the best performing categories. Increasing workforce resulting in rising income among the youth has led to increased demand of super premium and premium jeans among the youth.

Increasing penetration of the global brands in non-metros has provided ample options to the non-metro dwellers thus, resulting in widening the consumers of premium denim wear.

CROPPED OR FOLDED HEMS CONTINUE TO BE FASHIONABLE AMONG WOMEN: Women’s jeans continued to record strong current value growth in 2018, while also still being considered far from saturation. Over the decades female acceptance of Western apparel such as jeans has risen, with these now being a standard part of a woman’s wardrobe.


With growing penetration of online channels, brand recognition and quality consciousness; there is huge opportunity for growth in denim wear. The large youth population, infiltrating urbanization and growing preference towards western wear in semi-urban and rural areas are acting as a boost to denim industry.

With right knowledge of consumer preference, opting for online channels, Omni-channel retailing and global best practices, denim wear brands can exploit the available growth opportunities in domestic denim wear market.