Leggings brands are luring shoppers with the promise of variety and value for money fashion
The sales narrative for women’s leggings has largely involved small, local players or the unorganised segment. The last decade has seen the entry of brands such as Lux Industries’ Lyra, Dollar’s Missy and Rupa’s Softline that promise a standard quality, variety and affordable pricing. For a target demographic that spans across India and not limited by age unlike some of the other apparel categories, the growth potential for players is considerable.
The awareness factor
Lyra’s advertising, in particular its catchy jingle with current brand ambassador Parineeti Chopra, is looking to cement awareness for the brand. Udit Todi, SVP, Lux Industries, recounts that as the brand grew and the focus on generating awareness became unavoidable, Lyra brought aboard its first brand ambassador, actor Prachi Desai. “As soon as we started advertising, our sales doubled,” he claims. “Now that the brand has become popular, it helps us in launching new products under the larger umbrella, such as palazzos, etc.”
In a similar vein, Rupa’s Softline has recently signed on Anushka Sharma as brand ambassador. Vikash Agarwal, president and brand director, Rupa & Company, shares, “Softline is a new brand for us. We have recently expanded into lingerie. The strategy is to build awareness and associate the brand with innerwear, sportswear and leisure wear.” Rupa’s marketing and advertising budget is 10% of sales. For Lyra, which reportedly sold one crore leggings last year, marketing spends are around Rs 15-18 crore per annum.
Offline contributes almost all of the business for leggings irrespective of the brand, while e-commerce accounts for a modest 1-3% of sales and acts largely as a reminder medium to mainstream advertising.
Missy by Dollar, in addition to traditional and multi-brand sales channels, has plans to roll out pop-up kiosks in malls to create brand awareness as well as to generate a point of sale. The trial for this with an initial plan for five to seven cities will begin around December, 2018 or January, 2019. Shashi Agarwal, VP, corporate strategy and investor relations, Dollar Industries, notes that the rising trend of consumption in the leggings category is driven by many factors. “Women did not spend on themselves earlier but they are more aware now,” Agarwal shares. “They are more quality sensitive, and variety is a big pull.” Missy currently offers leggings in more than 85 colours and styles such as churidaar, ankle length, capris and so on.
Of variety and versatility
Although brands such as Biba, Pantaloons and W for Woman have leggings under their own labels or house other labels in their stores, these collections are limited to complementing products from their own labels; inventory management does not allow a full range of leggings to be displayed.
Ankur Bisen, VP of retail and consumer products, Technopak, notes that leggings is a product that can flit across categories. “Positioning is amorphous for this product; you could see them as an extension in ethnic wear stores or in fusion wear stores,” he says. “The product can crisscross multiple categories as women are also looking at mix and match fusion wear.” So, leggings could work best when offered as a complementary product, leisure wear, active wear, etc.