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The changing dynamics of the innerwear industry shows that Indians increasingly prefer wearing premium 'within'.
In the last five years, premium innerwear brand Jockey, manufactured and marketed by Page Industries in India, has jumped in its brand share from 5.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent, while other competing innerwear brands like Amul Macho, Rupa and Lux have either remained stagnant or seen a dip in their share.
Innerwear includes briefs, vests and any item worn next to skin and under clothing.
According to industry sources, while Amul Macho of J G Hosiery Pvt Ltd has maintained its share and second position at 4.2 per cent, Rupa & Co's Rupa brand, which was the leader five years ago has conceded to Jockey, to now stand at 4.1 per cent, followed by Lux from 3.9 per cent to 3 per cent.
According to industry and brand analysts, the growing omnichannel/e-commerce platforms coupled with an aspirational value among buyers has led to the premium brand Jockey jump to the top position.
"With the innerwear penetration being low in the formal sector, there is a huge market potential. So far, players like Amul, Rupa and Lux have been playing the value and volume game and created a shift from informal to formal innerwear market. However, having succeeded globally, Jockey has now become an aspirational brand in India. What the globe wears, India wants to wear and what urban India wears, rural India wants to wear," said brand consultant Harish Bijoor.
As a result, the innerwear industry, thanks to retail and e-commerce boom, has already grown by 13.8 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR).
Euromonitor estimates the innerwear industry's market size in terms of retail sales value at Rs 322.1167 billion, up from Rs 251.927 billion in 2015.
While emailed queries to Rupa & Co and Page Industries remained unanswered, Lux Industries stated that the brand has grown at a CAGR of 11.34 per cent, while it expects to grow by 15 per cent from hereon. Saket Todi, senior vice president at Lux Industries maintained that the company has always strategically positioned itself in the 'mid to economy segment'.
"It is a 'value for money product' brand that offers great comfort and style at a very affordable price. As India is the consumer driven economy where consumers are increasingly focusing on comfort, quality and brand as their prime buying parameters but obviously at a reasonable cost, at LUX we make sure our different brands fits the best in the innerwear space catering to various classes and masses," said Todi.
Though players like Lux have focused a lot on distribution — Lux Cozi is distributed through 450,000 retailers, Jockey has been able to encash on the growing high street, e-commerce and omnichannel distribution model.
Meanwhile, the growth in their brand shares has also helped the parent companies in their market capitalisation. For instance, while Jockey's Page Industries saw its market capitalisation grow by 37.81 per cent from Rs 162.557 billion in April 2017 to Rs 224.02 billion as on date, Lux grew by 125.62 per cent from Rs 18.885 billion to Rs 42.61 billion for the same period. Rupa & Co, on the other hand, posted a decent growth of 25.71 per cent, up from Rs 26.529 billion market capitalisation in April 2017 to Rs 33.35 billion as on date.