INDUSTRY NEWS

Aditya Birla Fashion enters into women’s innerwear and athleisure products

Published Date | 2018 September 20

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. has planned to enter into the market of women’s innerwear and athleisure garments under its brand Van Heusen which will promulgate the future market of Women Innerwear market.
India: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. plans to open 400 exclusive stores in the product category of women’s innerwear and athleisure garment over the next 3-4 years. The company will also start selling the women innerwear range online in e-commerce marketplaces from October while it will also set up its own online brand store from November. Aditya Birla’s plans to foray into the market considering the fact that women innerwear market has strong growth potential in the upcoming years. In past two years, the company had entered into the men innerwear segment under Van Heusen brand and has opened 15 exclusive stores till the recent time. According to Puneet Kumar Malik, CEO for innerwear business of the company, “These stores will also sell the women innerwear products now. They plan to expand the network to 35-40 by this fiscal end and take it up to 400 stores. Most of these outlets will be setup on the franchisee route.” The company owns almost 9,000 multi-brand stores for garment segment in the men range which they are planning to tap for the women segment too since 80% of these outlets sell both the segments. Thus, the CEO added that, “We plan to take the distribution network to 13,000 outlets by end of the year and to 30,000 outlets in four years.” The decision came into picture after the company underwent a study on a group of almost 3000 women to understand their preferences for innerwear. As of now, the company will manufacture the women range in India and Sri Lanka.  According to the market insight of BlueWeave Consulting, until pre-1970s, innerwear was just considered as an essential commodity with no focus from any retailer. At that point of time, the market was highly fragmented and was mainly dominated by unorganized and local brands. Unorganized player dominated the innerwear market until the 1990s, but later on there was an increase in the Indian and foreign brands. More organized brands entered into the market and there was a gradual acceleration in the demand for branded innerwear. Within 2000 and 2008, premium international brands started to enter into the Indian market. Moreover, these Indian brands came up with new designs and styles to attract modern Indian women. Thus, Men’s and women’s innerwear began to be sold through a variety of retail formats and in the recent time. The women innerwear market is estimated to be around INR 16,000 crore in India within which almost INR 3,000 crore is organized. The women innerwear segment is further expected to grow in the upcoming years with fast transition towards the organized segment. Thus, the more and more organized retailers are planning to tap this market in the recent years. The women innerwear products is expected to increase owing to rise in incomes, increase in number of working women and growing awareness for fashion and beauty due to the advent of social media.