Focus on growth! | In the era of "her economy", how to beat the battle for the underwear market?
Editor: sunhing │ Date: December 30, 2020
2020 is the year of reshuffle of the underwear market. On June 1st, Victoria's Secret British Company declared bankruptcy. 25 stores across the UK closed. The Victoria's Secret Show opened in Shanghai, China became the fashion swan song of L Brands.
On July 2nd, the Chinese underwear giant Metro Lady issued a profit warning. The profit in the first six months of this year fell by 130% year-on-year. The last time Metro Lady issued a profit warning was at the end of 2019.
Even the Aimer Co., Ltd., which are seeking an IPO, have their inventories out of stock, making profits difficult. It seems that traditional underwear brands are about to face the biggest disaster in their history.
However, the size of the entire underwear market has not stopped developing in recent years. The national underwear sales at the end of 2019 are expected to reach 440 billion yuan, so where does the growth come from? What kind of inspiration can these newly born opportunities give traditional brands in transition and new private brands?
01 Underwear is a permanent incremental market
At present, the annual sales of underwear in my country are more than 400 billion yuan, and it is growing at a rate of nearly 20% every year. There are nearly 10,000 production enterprises in the underwear industry. The underwear industry is the "last piece of cake" in the apparel industry, not just a name.
As we all know, the rise and fall of underwear trends are very frequent. Colors, styles, fabrics, and styles are changing and changing with each passing day. In order to enable underwear brands to penetrate consumer groups, market segmentation is essential. Only precise positioning of consumer groups is required. In order to better control the production and sales of products, and decide production according to consumer preferences, it is the best way to solve inventory and achieve profitability.
In the eyes of many traditional underwear people, underwear is nothing more than bras, pajamas, and warmth. In fact, it is not the case. For women's underwear, it can be subdivided into N categories. Although it is a bit exaggerated, it is not an exaggeration.
In the field of women's underwear market, the age group is very large. According to relevant data, the female population in China's population structure exceeds 650 million. As far as the age-appropriate people for underwear are concerned, girls aged 10-15 have begun to wear underwear, and most of the elderly over 60 also need to wear underwear. Therefore, in the age stratification stage, the category of underwear is also layered. Different underwear corresponding to the age group. According to the age group, underwear can be divided into girl underwear, functional underwear for mature women and underwear for the elderly, which is one of the market segments.
02 The trend of female underwear segmentation is more obvious
As women's spending power increases, their fashion awareness and brand awareness are also improving, and their requirements for diversification, individualization, and branding are increasing day by day, and they pay more attention to comfort and sensory stimulation. This is obviously a great opportunity for the underwear industry.
After more than 20 years of abnormal development, the category of "underwear" will eventually return to its essential attributes. Brands and products are positioned as "healthy, comfortable and natural" intimate clothing, which is far better than positioning men with sexy charm. The vulgar underwear is more suitable for the current female group with independent consciousness awakening.
For example, the most significant change feature of the bra category is the retrospect of the style without rims. From steel ring to no steel ring, it is a consumption upgrade of women's underwear. The so-called consumption upgrade is essentially to buy healthier and more comfortable products at the same price. During the 618 period in 2018, the top ten sales of Tmall underwear were all rimless underwear. It represents the awakening of her economic and independent female self-consciousness.
Starting from the “transition from steel rims to non-steel rims”, we can draw another aspect, that is, the underwear market has spawned a large number of sub-categories in response to individual consumer demand to complete the entire process of consumption upgrades. And these subdivided categories are exactly the starting point for this 400 billion market increment.
Sports underwear is a category that has grown very rapidly in recent years. The market size of this category has reached 100 billion yuan in 2019, and the prospects are bright. Underwear for the elderly and children's underwear will also enter the mainstream market. As we all know, both the elderly market and the children's market have huge scales. When the demand for underwear of these two consumer groups increases, it is a new round of outbreak of the underwear industry. In addition, the segmentation of the underwear market is also reflected in women's underwear. With the diversification of female consumer demand, the market segments of girly underwear and pregnant women's underwear will also receive attention.
"The waves of the times will not just flood a seaweed." After the announcement of Victoria's Secret, China's local traditional underwear brands have also reached a critical moment of transformation. It depends on who can take the lead in this 400 billion market.
03 The strength of underwear e-commerce cannot be underestimated
With the changes in China's retail formats, it is predicted that in 2020, the number of users and market size of China's social e-commerce will increase from 422 million people and 206.58 billion yuan this year to 773 million people and 300 billion yuan. The market scale will further expand. At the same time, under the influence of the epidemic, staying at home becomes the best choice for people to avoid disasters. Online shopping has also become the best way for people to meet their daily needs. It has significant advantages in operations, channels, users and customer acquisition costs. Live broadcast and social e-commerce are about to usher in a new round of development opportunities.
From a macro perspective, around the core of the underwear industry, including "product production, supply chain circulation, and terminal sales", these three major changes are the entire underwear industry and the core of the Internet transformation of many physical industries.
04 How to beat the competition in the underwear market?
Under the demand of e-commerce and the expansion of underwear categories, while bringing opportunities to brands, it also brings greater challenges to the supply chain. The digital transformation of traditional underwear brands is imminent. How to keep up with the rapid changes in consumers is the primary proposition facing brand owners. In the era of digital economy, digitalization is the core feature of the new generation of consumers.
Will traditional brands rebound if they bottom out? As a traditional labor-intensive industry, underwear has a long supply chain cycle and a high degree of dependence on manufacturing workers. Therefore, the efficiency of the industry is low, and the level of digital and intelligent production and retailing of enterprises is low. The arrival of the epidemic has prevented a large number of workers from coming to work. As a result, the production capacity of many companies has been greatly affected, and the impact of the epidemic has almost caused the market to miss the ordering season, causing companies to fall into a dilemma of fear of inventory when making goods, and lack of goods when not making goods. The essential reason is the lack of digitization and intelligence. Therefore, the arrival of this epidemic will make many business owners learn from the pain and accelerate the digital and intelligent upgrade of enterprises.