Lingerie market in China is bigger than ever and one of the most successful industries and here is why
What makes China a leader in Lingerie market?
China has strong Western influence. Chinese women choose lingerie like western women. Lingerie is a new way of expression Chinese women spend 10% of their expenditure on underwear. Having said that Chinese women are a lot more conservative compared to French women. Foreign brands customise their products for Chinese consumers to keep them satisfied.
Why China is a demanding country when it comes to lingerie
Adaptation of Western culture
There is more exposure to Western lifestyle in China when compared to India. West has great influence on apparel fashion in China. India is still in a cocoon stage when it comes to lingerie market. Yet, It is a fantastic sign of exhibiting great potential to grow big in future.
Rising demand from Millennials
Young Chinese women are knowledgeable, well aware of what is in trend and are avid users of social media. In India, except for metropolis and huge cities women are more conservative. They are hush-hush about lingerie in general. There are women who still aren’t aware of the importance of lingerie.
Growing number of working women
Working women are on the rise in China. They have forage for style and crave for comfortable office bras. They are majority in population which has given way to a soaring demand for posh lingerie. These days more Indian women are coming out to work. But when it comes to lingerie the importance they give is much lesser when compared to Chinese women. But it is only a sign that the boom of Indian lingerie market is round the corner. It is a matter of time for all the women come out of their shells.
China’s online retail soared to $1 trillion in 2017. Needless to say that both retailers and consumers have benefited from E-commerce. Shopping lingerie from websites is nothing new for Chinese customers. Both women and men love the privacy and experience they get from online stores. India’s online shopping habit is increasing in the recent years. User friendly interface, attractive product images and privacy bring the customers online.
Changing fashion trends in lingerie industry
Fashion events of International Lingerie brands are very common in mainland China. The external brands showcase Chinese models for their lingerie shows. It helps them to connect with audience. Apart from this the vast usage of social media keep the Chinese women up to date with lingerie trends. Indians are becoming progressive and open-minded. Indian women want to explore and are willing to adapt to new lingerie trends. They love comfortable lingerie. They like how lingerie makes them feel confident and beautiful in their own body. They know that lingerie improves their intimate life. Yet, Indian women are not well-informed about lingerie. They have inadequate knowledge which makes them lag in brand and size knowledge. This affects the Indian lingerie market in a negative manner.
Foreign Lingerie Brands
In China external lingerie brands represent 60% of the underwear market. Domestic brands are only a few which accommodate only 10% of the lingerie market. And there are no significant leaders when it comes to home brands.
Why foreign brands cannot takeover Indian lingerie market in a million years?
We can name a few successful foreign brands in India. But usually these brands go over the top of a huge population. Their products are very expensive. Brand name can bring them only high end customers. Apart from that these brands know only a handful when it comes to lingerie sizing for Indian women. Customising lingerie for Indian women is another challenge they face. It will be difficult to subsist against the domestic brands. Indian lingerie brands are very competitive. Indian lingerie market was worth around $3 billion in 2017. The prediction is that it will grow to a whooping $ 6.5 billion by 2023. There are many reasons why lingerie business in India is “The thing” right now in the market. There is a growing demand for lingerie in general.
- Increase in middle class population.
- Steep rise in the number of independent women from middle class families.
- Exposure to Lingerie fashion and social media is a non debatable reason for growth.
- E-commerce and lingerie sales go hand in hand. Online lingerie shopping is desirable in many ways.
- Indian lingerie market has a huge potential to grow into a giant lingerie market in the coming years. Home brands providing comfortable and stylish lingerie will win the race.
Lingerie trend in China
In China, the major customers are women between 23 and 36 years old. Most girls in China have cup sizes ranging between A and B. Whereas, Indian women size ranges from A to D cup sizes. The most common cup size of Indian women is C though. Chinese women like to wear fashionable yet comfortable lingerie. Also there is a demand for customised lingerie. Indian women are in experimental stage. They want to explore more and are very much interested in trendy undergarments.
Lingerie color preference
Chinese are generally superstitious especially when it comes to color. Every color signifies a strong meaning in Chinese culture. They don’t prefer the color white much as it is a color of death. And yellow is a pornographic color in China. Purple signifies divinity and immortality. Yet, Chinese girls seem to like the palette in pink.
There were times that Indian women used only white lingerie especially bras. They preferred dark undies. Skin colored bras were a trend as it is well hidden under their apparels. E-commerce played a big role in changing the scenario. Websites with images of luscious lingerie have brought changes in their lingerie taste. Nowadays, Indian women understand the concept of luxury lingerie. They are not hesitant experiment sexy lingerie.
Social Media Influence
Chinese women are very active in social media. Chinese fashion bloggers use Twitter and Instagram to showcase their lingerie fashion sense. Women follow these Instagrammers to keep up with their lingerie fashion sense. They are very much interested in knowing what their idols and celebrities wear.
Indian social media followers still needs to break the barrier. They need to voice out their opinion and preference about lingerie. There are bloggers and websites bringing the latest lingerie on social media. But they reach only a lesser number of audiences in India.
Demographic conditions that favour Chinese lingerie market
China is a vast land and populated. High economic and techno metropolis like Tianjin, Sichuan, Hubei, Shanghai, Sentenceghai, Shan Dong, Fujian, Zheijiang are the regions where people are more interested in buying expensive luxury lingerie.
The sales of lingerie started to boom in China since 2008. In 2013 Lingerie market transformed into a roaring $17.8 billion industry. Growing economy is one of the reasons. Apart from that, the demand for good lingerie has swelled in the recent years.
When it comes to China’s apparel market it is inevitable to talk about ETAM. ETAM is Europe’s first and largest women lingerie retailer. It is one of the first international fashion companies to launch ETAM group in China in 1994. In 2017 it focused only on lingerie to get back on growth track. ETAM has 3000 stores in China including apparel outlets. ETAM stores in China are more luxurious than in France. This signifies the awareness about lingerie among Chinese women. It is evident that how much west has influenced Chinese lingerie market.
Apart from this La Perla, Italian luxury fashion house has 8 stores in mainland China. Recently, Louis Vuitton opened its store in Beijing in 2018. Next, Victoria’s Secret followed suit and opened its flagship store in the same year. It was on cards leading to heavy anticipation. while in 2017 Victoria’s Secret jazzed its way to China for Annual fashion show.
China is a potential land for foreign brands to grow and it is a safe bet to nurture lingerie business there.
Domestic Lingerie brands in China
China’s own brands are Beijing Aimer, Maniform and Ordifen to name a few. They have improved their quality to compete with overseas brands. They are also started targeting high end customers now.
With all these developments it is predicted that it will grow to a whooping $33 billion worth industry by the year 2020.
Indian Lingerie Brands
Most of the foreign lingerie brands in India work on joint venture, and franchise model. Triumph is a German lingerie company. There are French lingerie company Enamor, and Canadian brand La senza. Amante is a Sri Lankan brand which has joined the wagon to offer lingerie for high end customers.
But most Indian women buy their lingerie from Indian stores and websites. Home brands offer affordable lingerie for the mass without a compromise on quality.
Online Lingerie Shopping
China’s Online Lingerie Retail
There are a large number of Chinese men who buy for their women online. They like online shopping more than going into a physical store. Chinese women appreciate the privacy that online stores offer.
Foreign brands like Etam use only regional language Mandarin on their websites. They optimize their websites for Baidu search engine and not Google. The websites support most used mobile payment methods in China. They still send emails to customers for follow-ups and promotions on a regular basis.
India’s Online Lingerie Retail
There is no second thought that E-commerce has been a game changer in the Indian retail sector. An online lingerie store is more than what Indian women could ask for. It’s a blessing in many ways. Online shopping has increased the awareness about lingerie. It changed the way we looked at lingerie.
Yet, Indian online websites should work towards offering a hassle-free shopping experience. Images are the first invite to a website. Stylish and high resolution images pull the customers towards buying the products. It’s important for Indian online lingerie stores to keep new and trendy products in the pipe line. The products should be available on the website for the customer to buy. We didn’t know that social media would gain so much importance in a few years.
India is transforming into a top potential lingerie retail market. Yet, we have to study retail markets of other countries especially China. It will help us to gain more knowledge in lingerie retail business. The Indian market grow in a steady manner. India can rule the lingerie empire with its domestic brands unlike China.