Lingerie Business: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

April 2021

In this age of globalization, the lingerie market has undergone a major transformation in recent years. Brands have been challenged by small players competing for market share. The pandemic has driven the evolution of silhouettes with warmth at their heart. The term 'sexy' no longer refers to a single gender or skin colour, and there is a stronger focus on appealing to both genders and sizes.


The growing need for transformation


Changes have happened in all segments undergoing a comprehensive and long-term transformation, and there is still a fair journey to reach the destination. If brands playing in this market wish to stay competitive, they could no longer afford to overlook the trends. Big-box supermarkets, clothing stores, and digitised brands are all battling to increase lingerie sales.


From legacy brands to more customer-centric retailers


Given that legacy lingerie brands have been chastised for not being multicultural enough in their ads and merchandise, today's lingerie brands are attempting to position themselves as being more diverse in a variety of ways. Some are developing nude lines that cater to a broader spectrum of skin tones, while some are expanding their plus-size ranges, while even some are simply developing a larger range of bra sizes than what is available in standard department stores. 


Since bras have traditionally been a tough commodity to fit, many of the new entrants have given in the idea that persuading customers that they can help them choose the better innerwear for them is the secret to attracting consumer satisfaction and getting them to spend even more money. 


The state of brick-mortar stores and the shift to digital brands


Contemporary lingerie companies, like other physical and online stores, are stressing inclusivity, diversity, and building a brand that people feel more connected shopping with. Marketing activities, such as an associate program that provides participants with instant access to merchandise and invitations to special events in appreciation for posting stories about the company. Other stores are increasing the number of digitally native steps in their lingerie departments in an attempt to attract more customers in-store.


Companies who build for women should recognise just what women expect. The way to go is to offer luxury simplicity. And this is always felt in the privacy of one's home—our attachment, tranquilly, and intimacy with the people we care about the most. For certain women, the sight of a woman in sexy underwear could be off and sometimes even intimidating.


The plus size market


After 2020, the apparel industry will be taken to a greater degree in terms of equality and diversity, making it critical that brands incorporate these principles into all facets of their operations rather than treating them like a checkbox. Lingerie stores are making changes to their ranges in order to reclaim market share from newer, more multicultural brands in 2021. Lingerie is a market that has undergone a major transformation. There is also a long way to go in terms of mass inclusive sizing. Despite being underdeveloped, the plus market for lingerie has a high demand, making it a missing opportunity for retailers who do not spend.

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