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Online women lingerie market seeing an upsurge in sales

Online women lingerie market is seeing an upsurge in sales recently. With top 12 retailers in the lingerie subcategory increased online sales by 20.8% in 2018, making it one of the fastest-growing apparel subcategories in Internet Retailer’s Top 1000. According to a report published by the 2019 Internet Retailer Online Apparel Report.

Online lingerie market
Figure: Women’s online lingerie market is undergoing a renaissance.

The recent market boost is fuelled by several newcomers, whose market strategy is ‘women’s undergarments should be: comfortable and designed for any woman’. Away from the big brands strategy of focusing on lingerie’s sex appeal.

“The discourse has changed with what lingerie should be,” says Iris Voltaire, AdoreMe’s brand and business developer.

“The main players before these start-up brands had this hyper-sexualized approach targeted toward men, with two cups and pushups. It was a dated approach to lingerie and what women wanted,” Voltaire added.

When AdoreMe launched roughly seven years ago, there weren’t as many major direct-to-consumer lingerie brands, Voltaire says. But within the past few years, several others have launched.

“They all have this brand position that is very different from Victoria’s Secret, which has been the major player before these players,” Voltaire says. “We’ve seen a lot of newcomers, and I think it’s good. It’s still a very big market and for us there is space for all of us.”

A few of the newcomers that are making a splash are digitally native, vertically integrated brands, or DNVBs as they’re sometimes called. Of the 13 apparel brands that got their start selling online, four—or 31%—are sleepwear/lingerie merchants.

Three of these four were among the fastest-growing apparel retailers in 2018: Thinx Inc. and Third Love, which both grew sales 50.0% in 2018, and MeUndies Inc., which increased sales 63.0%. That made MeUndies No. 1 in growth in the lingerie subcategory, and the seventh fastest grower in the apparel category.

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