The answer to the above question will have to depend on your business vision and your financial capabilities. However, as a new entrant into this business it is advisable that you resell other designer’s products and gain enough trust and experience in the industry before you can venture into making or starting your own lingerie line.
The global lingerie retail market is expected to reach $59.1 billion by 2024. Although this market is dominated by world-famous brands like Victoria’s Secret, La Perla and Wonderbra, anyone can become successful with hard work and creativity. Starting a lingerie business comes with its share of challenges, but the rewards are worth it.
When looking to start a lingerie line, you have various routes and options to leverage on: you can choose to start from the scratch, sell other designer’s products, or buy a franchise. However, each route or option involves different costs and require a different marketing strategy.
Change Lingerie, Bradoria, Yamamay and Intimissimi are few successful and well known international brands with extensive franchise networks. Also note that each franchise has its requirements for aspiring franchisees. Yamamay, for example, expects franchisees to cover the costs involved in running a store (which is expected to be at least 90 square meters), including the furniture, transportation, insurance and engineering work. As a franchisee, you can only purchase and sell Yamamay products.
Howbeit, if you choose to launch a lingerie brand, you’ll have to cover the costs of manufacturing, storage, distribution and more. In addition, you’ll have to establish the right distribution channels for your products, such as specialty stores, online stores and supermarkets.
Nonetheless, the most affordable option is to open a local lingerie store and sell other designers products. You may also set up an online lingerie shop and promote your business to a global audience.
Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Lingerie Line
Most people who start their own lingerie line from the scratch outsource their manufacturing or seek out private Label companies. Private labelling is when you buy lingerie directly from the manufacturer and place your own logo or brand on the unit.
You’ll go directly to the manufacturer, source and order a product, and add your label to it. However, starting your own lingerie line gives you the platform to choose your own design and quality. It is also lets you personalise your offerings, so your clients can purchase based on the mission of the company as well as the product itself. This gives greater buying control into the hands of the consumer.
This is like starting a normal business from the scratch. You build your own business with unique, branded products. Your store offers a specific portfolio of product that relate back to your brand and overall mission. You extensively control your brand, logo, and products in a deeper way.
Note that this also allows you to have improved marketing. If you have a specific brand, you can market it with a website, social media, and specific brand voice. A strong brand, notably, leads to improved brand loyalty and customer retention, which will more or less boost your long-term sales. This is great for entrepreneurs who want control over how fast their business can grow.
Starting a clothing line on your own entails more work—especially if you are going to design your own lingerie. This is because you’re brainstorming and manufacturing the product, building a brand, and growing a business all together. It takes more time and organization to get lingerie designed and manufactured from start to finish.
Moreover, this is usually a higher investment. You will have to buy raw materials and supplies may have a minimum order quantity of goods. You have to pay and store these raw materials. This higher investment can equate to higher risk if you don’t thoroughly research your customers, industry trends, and competitions.
Pros and Cons of Reselling Other Designers Products
Buying and reselling other designers product is more like flipping lingerie. This is when you buy lingerie from major retailers at a deep discount and resell them.
Buying and selling other designer’s product is low risk. You’re usually buying a minimum amount of goods at a discounted price, and this means it doesn’t take a significant upfront investment.
You’re not buying in bulk and worrying about warehouses filled with unsold inventory. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about sourcing or ordering, high overhead, branding, or even customer trends. Buying other designers product tends to be a lot less operation-focused and more marketing-focused.
This option has low margins. Most stores today have the technology to track their competitors’ prices. But even if one retailer is undercutting other stores as a means of attracting customers, the price differentiation is likely not going to be that extreme. In addition, you’re not building a brand when you buy other people’s products.
The best resellers will stick to one industry or category. In the long run, this could hurt your ability to maintain customer loyalty and attract new prospects. Moreover, you have to constantly be on the lookout for discounts and coupons. This can ultimately eat up a lot of your time if you aren’t bargain hunting pro.
Just like it was stated above, buying other designer’s products is a viable option for those who know how to find bargains and flip products for resale. However, starting your own line usually becomes a longer-term business. If you want the best of both worlds, become a private label distributor. You get all the credibility and marketing of the private brand, without the high risk and investment of creating your own private label.