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May, 2021     

The $2.5Bn Breakout Opportunity within the Indian Female Innerwear Market

Indian Female Innerwear Market is likely to be USD 11-12 opportunity by 2025


Over the last few years, the female innerwear sector has drastically changed as new-age brands along with online horizontal players started addressing more evolved customer needs in the market. Further due to the pandemic last year, while the young students and professionals started being indoors, this segment saw a major spike in demand for various sub-categories.

Here we are capturing how the industry has grown with the Covid tailwinds the how this market is set to grow in the coming years.

1. Indian Female Innerwear Market is likely to be USD 11-12 Bn opportunity by 2025

Female innerwear market size, USD Bn, CY20, CY25P

Note(s): 1. Innerwear market includes core categories – Brassiere and Panties and ancillary categories – Nightwear/ Loungewear, Athleisure, Swimwear and Shapewear.

This being mainly driven by

 1. Increasing number of working women
 2. Higher incomes + better financial awareness = more independent spending decisions
 3. Effect of social media – and in India’s context, democratic westernization of media at large
 4. Innerwear gaining more prominence as a wholesome part of different fashions/ styles – unique for each

2. With a USD 2.5+ Bn breakout opportunity therein

Indian female innerwear market size by segments, USD bn, 2015, 2020, 2025P

Within the branded segments, there are a few breakout categories that are likely to witness highest growth – to be a USD $2.5+ billion opportunity by 2025. 

They are – 

  • Branded Mid-premium lingerie (the innovative, affordable yet high quality lingerie increasingly preferred by women)
  • Branded Athleisure (includes Loungewear and Activewear)
  • and Branded Ancillaries (includes Swimwear and Shapewear)

This is driven by:

  • There are a number of brands, especially, the new-age ones who have been innovative around product design and optimised supply chains to bring very high-quality products (comparable to premium brands’) at affordable prices 
  • With investment around educating customers about such products, such brands have witnessed rapid adoption
  • New age distribution, led by online, disrupting the traditional challenges of the size & style heavy category
  • The category is evolving into ‘casuals at home’ or ’at home smart clothing’ with increasing use-cases of athleisure and nightwear merging from a consumer behaviour standpoint 
  • Athleisure and Activewear benefiting from tailwinds like jump in aspirations, people becoming fitness conscious, higher engagement with gyms and specialized activities like cycling amongst others
  • International brands like Reebok, Nike, Puma have been present in India for over 2 decades and have made considerable investment in education and awareness around the category. The brands are widely distributed and are now often alternatively used as casualwear

3. COVID related tailwinds and several fundamental factors are likely enable online players to become ~USD 1 Bn+ by 2025

Online female innerwear market1, USD Bn, CY20, 25P

Note(s): 1. Includes online sales of all brands

These fundamental factors being

  • Tech-based disruption across the value chain: From sourcing to customer service, right use of tech will help online businesses grow fast, while serving customers better and sustainably.
  • Growing demand for ancillary products: Online players are best positioned to cater to the wider demands of ancillaries – loungewear, athleisure, shapewear etc
  • Growing demand from tier 2+ cities: Online players are primed to disrupt the fragmented markets in the tier 2+ cities by offering greater variety quick and convenient delivery, privacy and right pricing

4. There are 4 types of online players in the Female Innerwear Market

Key models in online female innerwear market, As depicted

Interesting to see how super-verticals are making their way in some of the categories despite the large horizontals. The focused consumer centric solutions have been seen working well in the BPC (beauty and personal care categories) and can be seen now in this category as well.

5. With Digital-first omnichannel players being most loved by customers

Net Promoter Score – by type of model and customer cohort

Quite clearly the digital first omnichannel players are very rightly placed in the market. The consumers are quite happy with what they are offering and there is a large enough market for them out there. So don’t be surprised if you see the next unicorn coming from this space in next few months.