Denim Wear in In­dia: A Mar­ket Re­search


Business of Fashion - - Contents -

The In­dian denim mar­ket prom­ises un­matched value as well as vol­ume growth. Ex­perts from Technopak size the mar­ket and delve into its dy­nam­ics.

The youth driven denim mar­ket prom­ises un­matched value as well as vol­ume growth in the over­all In­dian ap­parel mar­ket. Amit Gug­nani, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent- Fashion, Technopak sizes the mar­ket and delves into its dy­nam­ics as a whole. With in­puts from Saima Ni­gar, As­so­ciate Con­sul­tant- Fashion and Tex­tile Divi­sion, Technopak.

In the last two decades, the In­dian fashion re­tail mar­ket has wit­nessed a grow­ing in­cli­na­tion to­wards western wear and ca­sual wear. Among these seg­ments, denim is among the high growth cat­e­gories in the do­mes­tic ap­parel mar­ket. The cur­rent do­mes­tic fashion re­tail mar­ket is worth `3,22,209 crores and is pro­jected to grow at a com­pound an­nual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7 per­cent to reach `6,74,037 crores by 2027.


The denim cat­e­gory ac­counts for a sig­nif­i­cant share of the ca­sual wear mar­ket. The mar­ket size of the In­dian denim seg­ment is es­ti­mated at `23,076 crores in 2017. This is pro­jected to grow at a ro­bust CAGR of 12.7 per­cent to reach `41,947 crores by 2022 and `76,258 crores by 2027. Men’s denim seg­ment con­trib­utes about ~84 per­cent of the mar­ket while the women’s and kids seg­ments con­trib­ute 10 per­cent and 6 per­cent re­spec­tively.


Denim is con­sid­ered to be one of the most ver­sa­tile fab­rics for men with mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions like ca­su­al­wear, work­wear, and ev­ery­day use. Men’s denim wear ac­counts for the largest share and is poised to grow at a high CAGR of 12.7 per­cent over the next decade.

Un­til a few years ago, denim was pop­u­lar with men in the ur­ban cen­ters only. How­ever, in the re­cent years, it has be­come pop­u­lar in the semi­ur­ban and ru­ral mar­kets as well, due to grow­ing aware­ness and so­cial me­dia pen­e­tra­tion. This growth in semi-ur­ban and ru­ral mar­kets would chiefly pro­pel the growth of men’s denim in the next 10 years.


Among other denim wear prod­ucts, jeans are the most pop­u­lar among In­dian women. Women in dif­fer­ent age brack­ets and of all shapes and

sizes pre­fer denim as it is com­fort­able, func­tional and durable. Denim is also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among women due to the com­fort pro­vided by stretch den­ims. Even women who are not at ease with western wear have taken up to wear­ing jeans by pair­ing them with In­dian eth­nic wear like kur­tis. This mix and match style is grad­u­ally pick­ing up, par­tic­u­larly among women in small towns who come from a tra­di­tional back­ground and this is likely to fuel the growth of the seg­ment. De­spite hav­ing a smaller share of 10 per­cent, women’s denim cat­e­gory is ex­pected to wit­ness higher growth rate of 13.1 per­cent dur­ing the pe­riod 2017-27.

The In­dian women’s wear mar­ket, which thrives on fashion trends, is catered to by brands’ con­stant in­no­va­tion in denim fab­rics such as stretch, washes, de­signs, new colours and feel.


It is the small­est seg­ment in the do­mes­tic denim mar­ket, but is ex­pected to grow at an im­pres­sive rate of 12 per­cent over the next decade, pri­mar­ily due to the rel­a­tively higher fashion aware­ness among kids, prod­ucts in­no­va­tions and de­sign choices and higher spend­ing on kids in nu­clear mid­dle class fam­i­lies.


The denim wear seg­ment has al­ways been one of the lead­ing seg­ments in the ap­parel fashion in­dus­try around the world. The blue denim is one of the most ubiq­ui­tous wardrobe es­sen­tials, and has been so since decades.

The denim wear mar­ket in In­dia is cur­rently dom­i­nated by un­or­gan­ised play­ers. How­ever, with the en­try of in­ter­na­tional and pen­e­tra­tion of In­dian brands, the in­cli­na­tion to­wards branded den­ims is in­creas­ing among con­sumers. In ad­di­tion to vol­ume growth, the value growth is ex­pected to in­crease with ris­ing de­mand for en­hanced prod­uct at­tributes like fashion quo­tient, stretch and light weight fab­ric, vary­ing colours, styling and de­tail­ing, etc.

In In­dia, denim ap­parel con­sump­tion is ex­pected to rise across all seg­ments — men’s, women’s and kids. The in­cre­men­tal growth is espe­cially ex­pected in the mid-pre­mium and pre­mium/lux­ury seg­ments.

In In­dia, denim ap­parel con­sump­tion is ex­pected to rise across all seg­ments — men’s, women’s and kids. The in­cre­men­tal growth is espe­cially ex­pected in the mid­premium and pre­mium/lux­ury seg­ments.

Tar­get­ing ru­ral and sub-ur­ban con­sumers had till re­cently been a great chal­lenge for the denim in­dus­try in In­dia. How­ever, re­cent trends have in­di­cated in­creased pen­e­tra­tion of the cat­e­gory across semi-ur­ban and ru­ral cen­tres which shall drive vol­ume growth across mass mar­ket and un­branded seg­ments.

Cer­tain fac­tors which are con­tribut­ing as growth driv­ers of denim wear in the

coun­try are enu­mer­ated be­low:


Per capita jeans con­sump­tion in In­dia is much lower than that of de­vel­oped mar­kets, which is a clear in­di­ca­tion of scope for growth in the do­mes­tic mar­ket.


The youth (15 to 29 years olds) who com­prise 26 per­cent of the con­sum­ing pop­u­la­tion, are a key growth driver of denim wear in the coun­try. In­creas­ing dis­pos­able in­come, com­fort, qual­ity and brand con­scious­ness are ma­jor rea­sons be­hind the in­creas­ing ac­cep­tance of den­ims among the young pop­u­la­tion.


The denim wear mar­ket is dom­i­nated by un­branded denim prod­ucts which con­sti­tute ~70 per­cent of the mar­ket and thus tend to give in­tense com­pe­ti­tion to cor­po­ra­tized re­tail denim play­ers. How­ever, with many in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic brands of­fer­ing denim wear at af­ford­able prices, the in­cli­na­tion to­wards cor­po­ra­tized re­tail denim wear is in­creas­ing in con­sumers.


Ru­ral In­dia is de­vel­op­ing at a rel­a­tively rapid pace and a sim­i­lar trend has been wit­nessed in ru­ral spend­ing. With the per­co­la­tion of mass me­dia, peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas are aware of fashion trends. Their grow­ing in­cli­na­tion to­wards western wear is an­other rea­son for the grow­ing de­mand of den­ims in ru­ral ar­eas. The ba­sic and mid-value seg­ment of denim wear, char­ac­terised

by qual­ity and style quo­tient is the pre­ferred choice of peo­ple from ru­ral ar­eas.


The emer­gence of tattered denim has pro­vided a per­fect op­tion for the fashion con­scious youth. Dis­tressed/ ripped/tattered den­ims are not re­stricted to only jeans but can be seen in jack­ets, shorts, skirts, etc. These are one of the most stylish must-haves for both men and women. This trend has been re-emerg­ing in more styles ev­ery sea­son.


Jeans man­u­fac­tur­ers are fo­cused on achiev­ing dif­fer­ent hues of blue by wash­ing the fab­ric in cer­tain dyes, bleaches or other agents that af­fect the denim colour. Dark indigo, faded blue/vin­tage/aged, stone wash and dis­tressed jeans are new denim fab­ric washes in trend these days.


The shifts in con­sumer’s wardrobe have pro­pelled the growth for ca­sual wear and denim wear in In­dia. Ear­lier, fashion was con­sid­ered a ba­sic need to be pur­chased on the ba­sis of re­quire­ments. Con­se­quently, the typ­i­cal con­sumer wardrobe was lim­ited to ba­sic cat­e­gories like shirts, trousers, win­ter jack­ets and sweaters, sa­rees and sal­war kameez. The ba­sic pur­chase pa­ram­e­ters were lim­ited to the ba­sic func­tions of the cloth, com­fort and price. How­ever, with chang­ing so­cio­cul­tural val­ues, in­creased per capita con­sump­tion, in­creas­ing ex­po­sure to in­ter­na­tional fashion trends and grow­ing dis­pos­able in­come, the ap­parel mar­ket is slowly be­com­ing more oc­ca­sions spe­cific. This fac­tor has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in driv­ing the growth of the denim wear seg­ment.


In­creased pen­e­tra­tion of the in­ter­net cou­pled with the bur­geon­ing smart phone mar­ket has re­sulted in the growth of e-tail­ing in In­dia. Due to ease of order­ing on­line, paucity of time, and flex­i­ble re­turn poli­cies among other fac­tors, the youth of In­dia are in­creas­ingly pur­chas­ing on­line.

The lu­cra­tive mar­ket op­por­tu­nity has at­tracted many pure-play e-tail­ing play­ers to the life­style space. E-tail­ing play­ers are cus­tomiz­ing their on­line por­tals to at­tract the youth who seek style and trendy looks in their fashion prod­ucts. Lu­cra­tive of­fers from the re­tail­ers like cash on de­liv­ery, try and buy, easy re­turn pol­icy, etc., are mak­ing the e-tail­ing space com­pet­i­tive and dy­namic. Denim has been among the high­est grow­ing cat­e­gories in fashion e-com­merce.


The denim wear mar­ket in In­dia is ex­pected to wit­ness very im­pres­sive growth over the next decade. With In­dia’s ex­pand­ing econ­omy, boom­ing con­sump­tion, ur­ban­is­ing pop­u­la­tion and grow­ing mid­dle class in­come, denim wear has a huge op­por­tu­nity to grow.

The in­creas­ing shift of ru­ral fashion mar­ket from eth­nic wear to western wear is one of the key growth driv­ers of denim wear in In­dia. The large youth pop­u­la­tion with ris­ing dis­pos­able in­come and aware­ness to­wards fashion will act as a cat­a­lyst in the growth of denim wear in the coun­try.

The denim wear mar­ket holds high po­ten­tial for brands and re­tail­ers. In or­der to cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties in the denim wear mar­ket, re­tail­ers need to fo­cus on fac­tors such as pric­ing, qual­ity, con­sumer pref­er­ences, etc. Re­tail­ers can also lever­age the avail­able growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in the do­mes­tic denim wear mar­ket by opt­ing for on­line chan­nels and omni-chan­nels.

In ad­di­tion, to cap­i­tal­ize on the ru­ral and semi-ur­ban driven growth, brands and re­tail­ers can fo­cus on these mar­kets with ba­sic denim prod­ucts at af­ford­able pric­ing.

Edi­to­rial credit: Sk Hasan Ali /

Edi­to­rial credit: v74 /

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