Innerwear Business Plan

Innerwear Business Plan

Innerwear Business Plan

Innerwear Business Plan - Innerwear Business Guide

Innerwear Business Plan - Innerwear Business Guide

Innerwear Business Plan Overview

This Innerwear Business Plan looks at the business of selling innerwear. These include socks, boxers, panties, bikers, handkerchiefs, bras, vests, lingerie and such.

The Business Plan in terms of consumer behavior and market trends is applicable to many urban and rural areas but a little biased towards Nairobi when it comes to suppliers. This Innerwear Business Plan will help you quickly understand the business, buying habits and margins.

The innerwear business has been evolving for the last twenty years. Out are the conservative attitudes towards innerwear and in are the open and experimental. This is both for male and female innerwear. Although the ‘shame’ of purchasing innerwear still exists it’s been eroded to a large extent such that underwear is openly displayed and traded on the streets.

The Kenyan innerwear market is largely focused on the mass market. There are no established brands. For the mass market which also includes a large part of the so called middle class very few consumers can identify particular innerwear brands. Most of the innerwear in the market is a commodity, not branded at all and consumers don’t care. And where it’s branded, it’s fake; the street vendor selling a Calvin Klein boxer for Kshs.100.

That said a few consumers have developed sophisticated tastes and are very particular about the innerwear brands they buy. The high end branded innerwear market is a niche market which requires very good knowledge of the European and American markets.

There is a future for branded innerwear locally. We will cover this section of the market in a different guide. For now let’s focus on the mass market.

Innerwear Consumption Trends

Consumption of innerwear has been on upward trend, this we have deduced from research, conversations with vendors and consumers. A survey we conducted among a group of career urban women between 25 and 37 years showed at any moment most of the women have 1015 wearable panties, and the number has been increasing year to year. (More results of the survey are contained in the last section of this Innerwear Business Plan).

Among the reasons that have contributed to the increased consumption of innerwear are:

  • Prices have remained constant over a long time, and even when they rise it’s not in such a manner as to lead to drastic reduction in purchase. This is despite the fluctuation of the shilling and increased cost of living. Partially this is because of the availability of relatively cheap innerwear imports from China and Turkey which give big enough margins even at relatively lower prices.
  • Related to the above is the number of entrepreneurs who have joined the business at a retail level. In this case availability has led to increase in consumption. The increased competition also stabilized retail prices.
  • Trends in the fashion business have also made innerwear ‘enticing’. This has resulted in more consumers buying on impulse.
  • Urbanization and social exposure is making it ‘cool’, ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ to have several pieces of innerwear. So for men it’s not just okay to have two pair of socks and keep recycling. It’s the same for women. Even women who previously would have been seen as traditional are changing to modern innerwear consumption trends.

Part of this ‘urbanization’ is for women to go ‘commando’ that is wear clothes without putting on panties. But although there are women who do this the numbers are not significant enough to threaten the business. Then, no woman, at least from our research, goes ‘commando’ everyday of the week.

The rise in demand for innerwear has resulted in more competition. The barriers to entry are minimal. At the lowest level this is not, relatively, a capital intensive business. Take for instance those who hawk socks in bars, the capital invested could be as low Kshs.2000.

Competition in the business will continue growing and whether you survive and thrive in the business will depend on some factors which will become clear as you read this Innerwear Business Plan.

Download Innerwear Business Plan / guide here