(The following article assesses the consumer market for ethnicwear in India today; all currencies reflect exchange rates at July 2012 – Indian rupees, GBP & USD. Market segmentation analysis was carried out by a Technopak India survey in 2012).
Size of market
The current market for women’s ethnicwear in India is £38 billion ($58 billion USD) and is expected to grow to reach £56 billion ($87 billion USD) by 2014. The highest growth will be for saris, with the revival of new and more innovative styles and drapes. Brands and retailers are trying to create a fusion of western and Indian designs of this traditional garment to capture the largest number of consumers. Today, ethnicwear accounts for 60 to 70 per cent of an Indian woman’s wardrobe in urban areas.
India’s diversity determines garment preferences according to the culture and tradition of its regions. Variety is the most important factor in this category which drives sales.
Ethnicwear as a category gives a lot of flexibility in terms of getting customised designs; westernwear is limited to the availability of stocks in ready-to-wear category so is not as well defined. The willingness to spend more on ethnicwear has increased with different traditional and contemporary designs being offered.
When it comes to spending on ethnicwear, a third of women spend Rs 5,000 – 10,000 per month, followed by 25 per cent who spend less than Rs. 5,000. The price range for women’s ethnicwear is higher compared to men’s. It could start from Rs. 1,500 and go up to several lakhs if by a named designer.
Who is buying what
Sari is the most popular garment as occassionwear. 80 percent of women like to adorn a sari for weddings, festivals or important family gatherings. Few women also opted sari as formalwear for the home, mainly determined by regional and cultural heritage e.g. Rajasthani women. The lehenga is another popular form of occassionwear preferred by two thirds of women.
The survey reveals that among women respondents, cotton is the most preferred fabric followed by crêpe and georgette for salwar kameez and kurti churidar. Silk is the most popular fabric for saris followed by georgette, cotton and net. For lehenga, silk and brocade are the most preferred fabric followed by georgette and net.
As far as design, women like options. They love to wear embroidered and embellished salwar kameez. But when it comes to kurti churidar they like it with beautiful prints on it. For saris they prefer to have varieties of prints, lavish embroidery and embellishment and for lehenga they prefer to wear heavily embroidered and embellished pieces.