INNERWEAR MARKET IN INDIA- MARKETERS’ AND
Jyoti Aggarwa (lecturer)l and Dr. Charu Gupta(Reader)
Department of Textiles and Clothing
Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, India
The innerwear market in India is currently valued at Rs. 5160 crore in value terms and
80.16 crore units in volume terms The Indian lingerie industry is poised for a great leap
ahead due to the growing domestic demand coupled with huge export potential. There are
more than 1000 Indian brands present, but only 200 are active nation wide. The
remaining cater to markets in the vicinity of their manufacture. The Last decade has
witnessed inflow of many multinational brands in the Indian innerwear market. Many
foreign companies have already set up or are in the process of setting up their
manufacturing units in India in collaboration with local players. India‟s vast resources,
skilled manpower and infrastructure attracts a lot of foreign investment in the field of
This paper brings to light the product offerings of Indian manufacturers and their
comparison with multinational brands. Leading brands present in Indian lingerie market
have been studied under the heads of year of establishment, retail presence, styles of
products offered, price range and the best selling categories. The data has been gathered
by personal interviews of twenty lingerie manufacturers. Two hundred Indian consumers
have also been surveyed to collect information regarding popularity of brands and
consumer preferences. Analysis of data brings out comparison of the product mix of
Indian and multinational brands. It also highlights consumer preferences and gaps to be
filled between demand and supply.
The paper would benefit that segment of the industry that plan to set up their
business in India, in terms of market segmentation and consumer preferences.
Many multinational manufacturers offering multitude of products consider India as a
destination market. Potential of this huge market is reflected through the demographic
picture (as of July 2003 estimates):
1.059 billion population
319 million females between 15-64 years
30 percent of 95 million of that are considered middle class with enough disposable
income to be defined as “real consumers”.
Indian Apparel Market Growth in 2004 over 2003
14 11.91 12.03
Men Women Kids Total Total Value2004
Apparel Apparel Apparel Apparel Innerwear Volume2004
(Figure: 1), Source: Images Business of Fashion, August 2005, Vol.VI No. VIII
Analysing the growth of Indian apparel market, brings out the fact that innerwear
segment is growing at a much faster rate than the other segments (Fig.1). The innerwear
market in the country for the year 2004 is valued at Rs. 5,160 crore in value terms,
registering a growth rate of 13.91% over 2003, when it stood at Rs. 4,530 crore. The
volume appreciated about 5.72% at 80.16 crore units in 2004 as compared to about 75.82
crore units sold in 2003. On the overall basis, volume as well as value growth in the
innerwear market was marginally higher in 2004 as compared to 2003. However, the
18 16.81 16.91
6 4.2 4.25
Value 2003 Value 2004 Volume 2003 Volume 2004
Undergarments Lingerie Total Innerwear
(Figure: 2), Source: Images Business of Fashion, August 2005, Vol.VI No. VIII
value growth in both men‟s undergarments and women‟s lingerie segments was more
than double the growth in volumes. The growth in volume was 7% while value went up
by nearly 17% (Fig.: 2).
The innerwear market is flooded with the best of Indian as well as international brands.
The inside story got its first stylish boost when Associated Apparels Pvt. Ltd. makers of
Liberty shirts, launched the world famous Maiden Form bras, Jockey men‟s underwear
and swimwear in 1962 in India. The brands were an instant success with their style and
quality. Because of the change in government policies the company gave the overseas tie-
up and changed the names to Libertina for lingerie and Liberty for men‟s underwear in
the late 70s. With the success of Libertina and Liberty other Indian companies moved
into lingerie bandwagon. Peter Pan from Dawn Mills in the 70s entered the market. The
brand was one of the favorites with the Indian women, but two decades later it vanished
from the market. VIP a major player in men‟s segment launched Petals, a lycra moulded
cup bra with motifs, which was considered ahead of its time and was discontinued. But
its Lovable launch in 1996 proved a success when they brought in a foreign brand but
made in India. Lovable was followed by Feelings, a domestic offering of VIP along with
Daisy Dee. Vanity Fair was launched in 2004 and finally a Korean brand Try for men and
women in 2004. Another big brand in the lingerie market is Rupa & Co. started in 1985.
Its range of men‟s, women‟s and children‟s underwear makes it India‟s largest
manufacturer and seller of innerwear.
Other brands that are making their presence felt in the Indian innerwear market are Amul,
Lux Cozi and Dollar catering to a particular segment of men‟s innerwear market while
the lingerie segment has its own local brands like Neva, Bodycare, Softy, Lady Care,
Little Lacy, Red Rose, Sonari and many more.
Trickle of foreign brands started in 90s with the advent of Jockey re-entering the Indian
market followed by Calida and liberty Blu. Then the very high fashion Gossard came for
a limited period. The entry of the Marks and Spencer chain stores created a stir. Another
big entry was Triumph. Enamor, another foreign brand entered through Gokaldas Exports
and very chic French brand Aubade opened its only outlet in Mumbai. LaSenza and
Hanes are other brand in the scene.
Though innerwear includes garments for men, women and kids , it‟s the women segment
called lingerie, that draws the maximum attention. Lingerie is considered an important
value added segment. The range of items available as innerwear is enormous. But for an
average Indian woman innerwear is limited to just a couple of items, mainly bras and
panties. Out of these two, also brassiere is more complex an item to ensure the comfort
and fit. A number of styles are available in this basic garment like full cup, push up,
sports, strapless and under wired bras. In India, brassieres are constructed using 100
percent cotton fabrics, either knitted or woven. Sometimes, 3-10 percent Lycra is also
added to get stretch effect and to provide a better fit. Panties are generally made of 100%
cotton sinkers, ribs and interlock fabrics. Polyester - cotton jacquard knits are mainly
used for achieving comfort and aesthetics. Other components include range of elastics for
different areas of the garment, underwires for support, eye hooks and ring fastners. Laces
are also used extensively, with both knit and woven fabrics. Linings are used in the cup
area for support and strength, while pipings are used at the cup and side seems to give
fullness and strength.
As inner wear comes in direct contact with the skin, primary requirement for users is
comfort, followed by elegance. There is a need for a good combination of technology and
quality components as raw materials, to succeed in producing a standard product.
Despite the domestic growth, the roughly $ 400-million Indian industry contributes a
small percentage to the global lingerie, hosiery and innerwear market. India gets only a
small share of the export manufacturing pie. However the situation has improved in the
last decade. Leading buyers are planning to start sourcing from India in the near future.
The Bagalore based Gokaldas Images is one of the oldest manufacturer that has tied up
with Sara Lee Courtaulds for manufacturing foundation garments. MAS Holdings Sri
Lanka has set up a 50:50 joint venture arrangement called Intimate Clothing Private Ltd.
in Bagalore to produce Lingerie. The unit is a 100% export oriented unit. Leading
international buyers like V F Corporation, selling under the brand name Vanity Fair also
plans to start sourcing from India in coming times. Triumph International, the German
company selling foundation wear in India plans to set up its own manufacturing unit in
Chennai within a year for both export to Europe and selling in the Indian market. At
present Triumph is a one third partner in Intimate Fashion India Private Ltd., Chennai, a
manufacturing unit also supplying to Victoria‟s Secret, U.S.
Primero Intimates, a newly launched venture of premier Group in Coimbatore is
supplying fashion lingerie to high-end brands in Europe. Other leading buyers are Jockey
International, Warnaco, Eveden, Shirley of Hollywood, Victoria‟s Secret, Etam Way, La
Serza, Harrogate Lingerie and swimwear, La Perla with „Black Label‟ brand, Wacoal,
Palmers and Panache lingerie to name a few. Celebrity brands like Jennifer Lopez and
Pamela Anderson are also sourcing from India.
RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
This work has been undertaken to study the innerwear market in India. An in-depth
information has been gathered regarding its size, current scenario, prevalent practices and
potential with special reference to lingerie segment. Efforts have also been made to
collect first hand data from the leading innerwear manufacturers to study their product
offerings. Indian consumers have also been studied to gather information about their
Secondary data regarding the structure of Indian lingerie industry has been collected from
various magazines, journals, Newspaper articles, Internet sites etc. Primary data has been
obtained from manufacturers and consumers of lingerie in India.
Sample Selection: - leading manufacturers of innerwear had been contacted to gather
information about the product line offered by them in terms of style, designs, fit, colours,
etc. Out of the total of twenty manufacturers surveyed, six manufacturers based at Delhi
were contacted at their offices. Manufacturers having their units outside Delhi, mainly in
Mumbai, Tirupur and Bangalore were contacted at annual lingerie fair, “Bodywear”.
The sample of consumers comprises women from high or upper middle class socio-
economic strata, as the group is better informed. 200 consumers were surveyed to gather
information regarding their preferences for lingerie. Consumers were contacted mainly at
lingerie outlets to study their complete buying process. Leading lingerie stores of Delhi
were selected for this purpose.
Composite manufacturing units situated in and around Delhi have also been surveyed to
study the raw materials used, manufacturing procedures, assembly line operations and the
quality control systems followed.
Tools for Data Collection: - Data has been collected through questionnaire and
observation techniques. Separate questionnaires have been formulated for manufacturers
and consumers. The questionnaires have been personally administered to the respondents
in order to clarify doubts if any. Observations have been made simultaneously to collect
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Innerwear today has achieved new dimensions. An unending list of brands present in the
Indian lingerie market is the proof of the great potential of the market in India. The strong
Indian middle class is still growing and attracts even the foreign lingerie manufacturers to
latch on the Indian bandwagon. Women in developed nations have less and less time to
shop, so the industry is spending more time looking for new markets such as China and
India. Where women have more time on their hands as well as growing disposable
income. In the present scenario it is important to analyse the innerwear market in India.
A market with large hidden strength.
Current growth rate of 14%.
Industry with never declining demand. Also the class of its consumers will
always grow with the growing population and specific consumer preferences
Product has unsubstitutable demand.
A large segment of the market is in the unorganized sector.
Lack of awareness in society.
Low degree of brand loyalty.
High degree of price-sensitiveness.
Poor perception of quality of Indian lingerie.
Changing perceptions about the product from a marginal item of clothing it is
now slowly being perceived as a part of one‟s wardrobe.
Projected future growth rate of about 15% for the Rs. 1,500 crore industry.
Explosion potential for the unorganiz sector to grow by making inroads into
the share of the unorganized sector.
The impact of better educating advertisements are making the consumers,
look at factors like comfort, quality and brand name and not only price.
More and more players entering the market competing severely with each other
but sharing the same small pie instead of battling against the unorgainsed sector.
The future of the Indian lingerie industry is not very grim. The Indian consumer is
gradually opening up. Factors like quality of the material, durability are also given due
importance now a days by the customers. The customers are becoming more and more
selective and specific about their requirements. A certain amount of openness has been
exhibited by the customers. As the consumer awareness is increasing, buying practices
are changing dramatically forcing the manufactures to gear up and improve their product
to compete in the Indian innerwear market. Survey done for innerwear manufactures and
consumers has highlighted some very interesting points, summarized here.
Survey of Innerwear Manufacturers
Twenty lingerie manufacturers based in various parts of India were contacted to collect
information regarding the products offered by them. Information regarding lingerie was
collected in detail and following results were obtained: -
Price Range:- Price range of the products offered by various manufacturers varies from
Rs. 50- Rs.1000 depending on the fabric used, style and also brand equity. Basic styles
are sold at a lower price as compared to the fancy styles.
Development of Styles:- For development of new styles of bras generally latest fabric and
lace designs are used as inspiration. The designers develop designs in accordance of latest
fabrics. Many a times owners of the firm themselves act as designers and develop new
design from their experience. A team of experts scrutinizes various designs thus made.
Samples of selected designs are developed thereafter. The samples are evaluated by trials
on dummies and very rarely on human models. After the trials required changes are made
in the original designs and finally the product is produced on mass scale. Final designs
are generally 10% of the original line in number.
Product Categorization: - It was noted that none of the manufacturers is offering special
product line for different age groups. Generally fancy and low cut designs are constructed
in smaller sizes, meant for teenagers. Designs with fuller cups are constructed in bigger
sizes meant for older women. Very few manufacturers offer fancy and comfortable styles
for women with bigger sizes. No specific product is offered even for varying seasons.
Value Addition: - No special finishing is given to the fabric used or the final product
before marketing. Finishes meant for innerwear like antibacterial and perfume finish etc.
are also not used on an average as it increases the cost and also lack demand. Very few
brands use these special finishes for premium range.
Research and Development: - It was found during the course of study that there is no
direct system of consumer feedback followed by manufacturers to improve upon their
product. 90% of manufacturers depend upon the comments of retailers to work upon their
future product range (Fig.:3).
No Such System Surveys
Styles Of Brassieres: - Full cup bra is the most popular style offered by most of the
manufacturers. Strapless and Padded bras are second in popularity offered by 80% of
manufacturers each. Only 50% of manufacturers are making under wired bras while
sports bra (vest, not technically a sports bra) used by beginners or at the time of
exercising are offered by 55% of manufacturers (Fig.: 4).
Sizes offered: - Brassieres are available in the sizes ranging from 28-46 inches. But
majority of products are offered in the size range of 30-38 inches. Very few sizes are
offered in extreme sizes. It also emerged out of the survey that only 30% of the
manufacturers are offering their products in various cup sizes i.e. A, B, C, D. Majority of
them i.e.70% are offering their products only in one cup size, generally B. For the
product to fit well on the body it is very important to make various cup sizes available.
Regular Full Sports Bra Seamless Strapless Padded Bra Push Up Bra Underwired
Cup Bra Bra Bra
Colour Range Offered: - White colour is found to be an important part of the product
basket of manufacturers, offered by all the respondents. 90% of manufacturers offer
Black bras while Beige colour in bras is offered by 75% of manufacturers. Lingerie
manufacturers offering more of bra-panty sets use colours like Plum, Pink, Peach, Grey,
etc (Fig.: 5).
White Black Beige Pink Peach
Raw Materials Used
Fabric: - Pure cotton is used by 90% of manufacturers to construct bras. The cotton fabric
used is mainly knitted fabric. Woven cotton fabrics generally used are voile and terycot.
Poplin and cambric is used to line the main fabric. After pure cotton, cotton lycra is most
sought after fabric used by 80% of manufacturers. Lace lycra used by 65% of
manufacturers finds its use in fancy designs (Fig.: 6).
Cotton Cotton Lace Lycra Cotton Lace Satin Silk
Trims and Accessories: - When enquired about various accessories used for construction
of bras it was found that all the manufacturers are offering their products with narrow
elastic bands as shoulder straps. 60% manufacturers offer string straps and only 25% of
them are offering transparent straps for support at shoulder (Fig.: 7).
For back strap elastic band with double hook is used most widely as offered by all the
manufacturers, while narrow elastic band with single hook is offered by only half of
them. Front opening is generally provided in lactation bras and very rarely otherwise.
Edges of the bras are finished with ordinary cotton bindings and elastic is used to provide
a snug fit. Only one or two manufacturers are using latest technology mobilon tapes to
finish edges and provide good fit at the same time. Plastic, as well as metallic ring
adjusters and sliders are used in the industry (Fig.: 8).
Thus it has been seen that lot of work needs to be done in the direction of improving
product quality so that consumers can get value for the money paid. Efforts should also
be made to tap the different segments of market with product differentiation. But at the
same time it is also very important to educate the consumer so that she can specify her
requirements and demand a quality product that is worth its price. Survey done on
consumers has helped to understand the consumer psyche and her awareness level.
Variety Of Shoulder Straps Offered
Narrow String Straps Broad Elastic Broad Fabric Transparent Narrow
elastic band Band Band Straps fabric band
Elastic Band Narrow Front Narrow Fabric Band Narrow
with Double Elastic Band Opening Elastic Band with double fabric Band
Hook with Single with S Hook Hook with Single
Survey of Consumers
340 women in the age group of 25-40 years were surveyed to collect information
regarding the likings and buying practices of consumers. Out of the total of 340 women
surveyed information collected from 200 respondents was finally analyzed.
Questionnaires that were either incomplete or did not provide relevant information were
discarded. All the 200 respondents were educated having professional qualifications.
Respondents belonged to upper middle class or high-income group. The information
gathered has been summarized as follows: -
General Information: - The respondents finally selected were women in the age group of
25-40 years, they were married and had kids. It was found that out of the total of 200
respondents 96 fall in the category of age from 35-40 years, while there were only 26
respondents who were less than 30 years in age.
Survey of the consumer‟s reveals that social norms and good feel factor are the main
reasons for wearing bras. It was found that 42% of the respondents feel that they wear
innerwear for modesty while other 46% feel that wearing quality innerwear gives them a
good feeling (Fig.: 9).
Role of Inner Wear
No. of Respondents
modesty confidence good feel not important
When asked, weather innerwear also follows fashion changes as outerwear, most of the
respondents felt positive about it. 44% of the respondents surely felt that innerwear does
follow fashion swings while 48% felt that to be true to some extent (Fig.: 10).
Does Innerwear Follow Fashion Changes
To Some Extent
Brand Preference: - Lovable is found to be the most favored brand by the respondents.
50% of the respondents showed their preference for this brand. This is most probably is
the reflection of the results of company‟s extensive marketing campaign. While the sister
brand Daisy Dee developed specifically for the Indian domestic market was second in
preference with 36% of the consumers opting for it. Next preferred brand was
Groverson‟s (Paris Beauty), which was opted by 20% of the respondents. Libertina is
preferred by 17% respondents, but the consumers using this brand are very loyal to it in
spite of limited styles and lack of innovation in designs. Triumph even a very late entrant
in the lingerie market in India and a premium brand has been able to develop a
respectable share for itself. Almost all the respondents are using these brands for more
than a year (Fig.: 11).
The respondents were asked to rate the brands of their choice for the styles, fit,
comfort, colours, fabric, ease of availability, price and care and maintenance. It is
found that Lovable, the most preferred brand was rated low for availability of
colours and price as compared to style, fit, comfort etc.
Style Preference: - In reference to style of bra, simple and comfortable are preferred by
52% of respondents while rest of the 48% opted for fancy and comfortable bras (Fig.:
12). The most preferred style of the bra is found to be the regular full cup bra that is opted
by 84% of the respondents.14% of respondents also opted for sports bra that is mainly
used while exercising or sleeping at night. It is surprising to note that only 22% of the
respondents opted for under wired bra, which is technically supposed to provide
maximum support, much required for middle aged women. It was seen that there is an
upward trend in the demand of padded bras that can help one achieve a fuller figure (Fig.:
Marks and Spencer
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
No. of Respondents
Preference for Style
Fancy and Sensuous
Preferences For Bra Styles
No. Of Respondents
40 28 28
20 8 4
Regular Full Padded Underwired Pushup Sports Strapless
Fabric: - 100% cotton and cotton lycra were the most favorable fabrics opted as first
preference by 50% of the respondents each. Cotton lace and lace with lycra followed as
second preference. It was seen that consumers were aware that lycra with cotton enhances
the fit of the garment. Fabrics that were not opted by a majority of consumers were satin,
silk and nylon mainly because of the climatic conditions (Table: 1).
S.No. FABRIC CONSUMER PREFERENCES IN TERMS OF RANKS (PERCENTAGE)
I II III IV V VI VII VIII NOT
1. PURE COTTON 100(50) 20(10) 28(14) 8(4) 4(2) 0 0 0 40(20)
2. COTTON LACE 0 64(32) 56(28) 8(4) 8(4) 4(2) 0 0 60(30)
3. NYLON LACE 0 8(4) 0 12(6) 12(6) 8(4) 16(8) 12(6) 124(62)
4. SILK LACE 0 8(4) 4(2) 12(6) 12(6) 16(8) 8(4) 4(2) 136(68)
5. COTTON LYCRA 100(50) 40(20) 28(14) 8(4) 0 0 0 0 24(12)
6. LACE LYCRA 0 44(22) 20(10) 24(12) 16(8) 12(6) 0 0 84(42)
7. SATIN 0 0 4(2) 8(4) 16(8) 8(4) 8(4) 8(4) 148(74)
8. SYNTHETIC LYCRA 0 12(6) 8(4) 12(6) 16(8) 8(4) 16(8) 20(10) 104(52)
Shoulder Straps: - Narrow elasticized straps are the most favored as preferred by 82% of
the respondents. 18% of the respondents opted for transparent shoulder straps which they
use with the dresses where shoulder straps may be visible like cut sleeve dresses, halter
neck outfits etc. 14% of the consumers want narrow cotton straps as they have sensitive
skin and develop allergies from Nylon straps. Padded shoulder straps that can give a
respite from digging in straps and subsequent rashes were opted by only 4% of
consumers (Fig.: 14).
Preferences for Shoulder Straps
No. of Respondents
40 28 28 24
Narrow Narrow Broad Broad Fabric Sring Straps Transparent Padded
Elasticized Cotton Elasticized Straps Shoulder
Preferences for Fasteners
No. of respondents
Elastic Band Fabric Band Narrow Elastic Fabric Band Narrow Elastic Front Opening
with Double with Double Band with with Single Band with S
Hook Hook Single Hook Hook Hook
Fasteners: - For fasteners, elastic band with double hook is the most preferred option
given by 84% of the respondents. 23% of the respondents opted for narrow fabric bands
with single hook (Fig.: 15).
Colour: White was found to be the most preferred colour for bras followed by black.
More number of pieces are owned by people in basic colour of white in contrast to fancy
colours which are limited to one or two pieces. Black pieces are also limited to one or
two. 50% of the respondents also like to keep at least one beige piece in their lingerie
collection. Other colours preferred after plum are pink, peach and blue. It was found out
that the choice of colour for innerwear is guided by the outerwear colour to a large extent.
Darker colours like plum are preferred more by consumers with dark complexion as they
feel it makes their innerwear less visible (Table: 2).
S.No. COLOURS NO. OF RESPONDENTS OWNING SPECIFIED NO OF PIECES.
(PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. NOT
1. WHITE 0 52(26) 44(22) 60(30) 24(12) 20(10) 0 0 0
2. BLACK 76(38) 84(42) 24(12) 0 0 4(2) 0 4(2) 8(4)
3. BEIGE 100(50) 72(36) 0 4(2) 0 0 0 4(2) 20(10)
4. PLUM 52(26) 4(2) 0 4(2) 0 0 0 0 140(70)
5. PINK 44(22) 4(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 152(76)
6. OTHERS 16(8) 4(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 180(90)
Most of the consumers were found to be open to accept new colours and styles.
34% of the respondents felt that they would stick to white as colour for innerwear
(Fig.: 16). Consumers were found to be more adventurous in accepting new styles
as compared to the colours. 80% of respondents said they would like to go for new
styles (Fig.: 17).
Acceptance for New Colours as per Trends
Stick to Traditional
Size And Fit: - The most widely used bra size is 36 inches followed by 38 inches (Fig.:
17). While B is the most preferred cup size which 44% of the respondents are using (Fig.:
18). It is surprising to note that 36% of the respondents did not know their cup size. None
of the respondents could correctly state the method of measuring their bra size. Whatever
information is available with the consumers regarding how to measure their own size has
been gathered from the package or advertisements. Only 30% of consumers try out
different sizes of bras to decide the correct size before purchasing. Many of them i.e. 60%
of respondents buy the size that they have been wearing for long.
Bra Sizes Used
No. of Respondents
32 inches 34 inches 36 inches 38 inches 40 inches >40 inches
Cup Sizes Used
No. of Respondents
A B C D Don't Know
Decision Regarding Size
No. of Respon dents
By Measuring By trying out different sizes Have Been Using this Size
Two major problems regarding the size faced by consumers are change in size with brand
and with style. Only 14% of the consumers are satisfied with the sizes of the bras
available (figure: 21).
Problems Faced Regarding Sizes
No. of Respondents
Size Differ with Brands Size Changes with No Problem
As far as the fit of the bra is concerned most of the respondents are satisfied with the fit
of their innerwear. But it is very important to know here that none of the respondents
could define fit in relation to innerwear correctly. 50% of the respondents feel that bras
should be tailor made as it can provide better fit and comfort while rest 50% do not agree
with the idea. They feel that the subject is too personal to be discussed with the tailor or
they are happy with the fit of the bras they are using. Also they feel it is too technical a
garment to be handled well by a tailor.
Buying Pattern: - It was observed that with more and more number of exclusive lingerie
shops coming up in various markets of Delhi, people prefer to go to these shops to make
their purchases rather than departmental stores. As many as 58% of the respondents buy
their innerwear from exclusive lingerie stores while only 26% make their purchases from
departmental stores. Generally, innerwear is bought once in six months as reported by
54% of respondents while, 40% of them buy it every three months. Majority of
respondents buy two to three bras at a time. Trials are very rarely done before purchase.
Only 20% of the respondents try their bras before every purchase. 40% of the consumers
try their innerwear only while buying a new style and 26% while buying a new brand.
But there are a large percentage of consumers i.e. 22% who do not try their bras before
purchase (Fig.: 23).
62% of the consumers prefer to buy separate piece of bra or panty in contrast to sets that
are preferred by only 2% of consumers (Fig.: 24). Out of many factors kept in mind while
selecting a bra, comfort is found to be the most important one opted by 52% of people
followed by fit opted by 34% of respondents as foremost criterion for selection of
lingerie. Brand is the third point to be kept in mind while selecting lingerie by many
people (42%). Care and maintenance gets the least preference only after aesthetics
Place of Purchase of Bras
No. of Respondents
Exclusive Stores Departmental Stores Shop in Local Market Specific Shop
S.No. FACTORS KEPT NO. OF RESPONDENTS OPTING FOR DIFFERENT RANKS
IN MIND (PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS)
I II III IV V VI VII
1. BRAND 28(14) 8(4) 84(42) 40(20) 20(10) 8(4) 8(4)
2. COMFORT 104(52) 80(40) 4(2) 0 4(2) 4(2) 0
3. FIT 68(34) 92(46) 24(12) 12(6) 0 0 4(2)
4. AESTHETICS 4(2) 12(6) 32(16) 32(16) 32(16) 56(28) 24(12)
5. PRICE 0 8(4) 20(10) 60(30) 28(14) 52(26) 32(16)
6. DURABILITY 8(4) 0 24(12) 48(24) 76(38) 40(20) 0
7. CARE & MAINT. 4(2) 0 12(6) 4(2) 32(16) 32(16) 112(56)
Trials before Purchase
No. of Respondents
Everytime Only for New Styles Only for New Brands Don't Try
Freference for Sets or Singles
Segregation of Bras: - Innerwear is segregated to a large extent depending on season,
time of the day, activity and attire. 48% of the consumers use cotton fabric bras in pastel
colour for summers while dark colours and fabrics like satin are used in winters. 64% of
the respondents use same kind of bra throughout the day but 36% wear loose bras while
sleeping. 30% of the respondents wear sports bras while exercising. Different bras are
used for western and Indian dresses by 42% of the respondents (Fig.: 25).
When asked about the idea of visible lingerie 72% of respondents rejected it while
24% said they might try it (Fig.: 26). 70% of the respondents did not show any preference
for inbuilt bras while 20% liked the idea but specifically for swim wear.
Segregation of Bras
No. of Respondents
Season Time Activity Attire
Acceptance for Visible Lingerie
May Be 4%
It can be concluded that future of lingerie industry in India is brighter and it is expected
to grow in a rapid manner, especially in the post-quota regime. Many of the international
retailers are already in the process of collaborating with Indian manufacturers along with
their specific inputs like design and technology. It is very important for the multinational
producers to understand the Indian consumers and their preferences to be successful. Due
to the limited availability and the lack of specialized and organized retail ambience, the
fashion consciousness and quality awareness of the Indian consumer for intimate apparel
is yet to be fully developed. India is also one of the most fragmented retail markets in the
world. The combined market share of the five retailers in India totals less than 2%. There
is huge potential waiting to be tapped.
The results can be concluded as follows:
Innerwear market in India is growing at the rate of 17%.
There is a huge potential for the organized sector to grow by making inroads into the
share of unorganized sector.
Leading international brands are turning their eyes towards India by setting up joint
ventures with local players.
Indian manufacturers are offering products in the price range of Rs. 50-1000.
Design development of brassieres is based on the availability of interesting fabrics
and trims and not many efforts are made to gather customer feedback.
Specialty products for various age groups are not offered.
Full cup brassiere is the most popular style offered.
Bras are offered mainly in white colour followed by black and beige.
Sizes offered for bras mainly varies from 30-38 inch., only in one cup size mainly B.
Cotton is the most common fabric used to manufacture lingerie.
Lovable is the most favoured brand of Indian consumers followed by Paris Beauty
Simple and comfortable styles are preferred. Most of the respondents prefer full cup
Cotton Lycra is the most preferred followed by pure cotton.
White is the most frequently purchased colour.
Size of the bra used maximum is 38 inches with B cup size.
Consumers lack awareness regarding the product, their own sizes for lingerie and
Innerwear are bought every six months mainly from department stores.
Trials are rarely done before the purchase.
Fit, comfort and brand image are main factors kept in mind by the consumers while
selecting a bra.
Efforts need to be made towards educating the consumers.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Dr. (Mrs.) Kumud Khanna, Director, Institute of
Home Economics, University of Delhi, under whose patronage this study was carried out.
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