Economy

In former naxal town, red is now the colour of lingerie

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Small-town India now accounts for half of online sales of intimate innerwear

Gadchiroli, an underdeveloped district in Maharashtra and once infamous for naxal presence, is now opening up to technology — in the most intimate of innerwear spaces..

Many women from this nondescript town are breaking the taboo and buying lingerie — and that too online. For players like Clovia.com, Zivame, Pretty Secrets, and Amazon.in, about half their lingerie sales comes from small towns.

Neha Kant, founder and chief revenue officer of Clovia.com, an online-first lingerie brand, told BusinessLine that about 50 per cent of its sales is from small towns and cities. Kant said she had never heard of many of these towns earlier, and had to look them up on a map.

“We get orders and feedback from many small towns; it has helped us understand the country and the people better,” she said, adding that sales growth in Tier 2 and 3 cities came on back of non-availability of a variety of lingerie and other innerwear at local retail shops due to space limitations. Clovia.com sells about half a million units a month; its prices range from ₹599 for three panties to ₹999 for a set of three plush bras.

Amazon India says its lingerie category grew by about 100 per cent in 2017 over the previous year in terms of units sold.

Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head of Amazon Fashion, said that with more young shoppers coming online, shopping behaviour is changing; they can browse through a large selection of lingerie without the awkwardness they experience in real-world stores, especially in small towns, where typically small mom-and-pop stores sell the regular blacks and whites.

While the best-sellers on Amazon Fashion were international brands such as Marks & Spencer, Jockey, Amante, and Triumph, home-grown brands like Enamor and Lovable have also padded up overall growth, Sirdeshmukh said, adding that shoppers bought lingerie even at full price or on low discounts.

According to retail consultancy firm Technopak, online lingerie ventures like Zivame and Pretty Secrets have helped expand India’s innerwear market to ₹7,450 crore. That’s likely to reach ₹68,270 crore by 2024.

It’s all not just for women. Players such as Buttalks, a start-up from Chennai, are helping Indian men too buy innerwear.

Published on December 04, 2017

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