There is a huge untouched potential in non-metros
Producers of women's pajama sets are increasing R&D capability to raise the range and functions of designs. Companies are also making efforts to enhance product quality and decrease operating costs through vertical integration. With the elimination of export taxes and import limitations on China-made sleepwear to the EU and the US, suppliers from China and India find themselves in a strong competition for market share. In the Indian market, the sleepwear and lingerie market is emerging quickly as a fashion segment, and has, over the last decade, observed the existence of organised players such as Juliet, Sleep-ins, etc
What was Kashmira Nightwear Company started with a single standalone store in Pune many years ago is today the Sleep-ins brand of complete nighrwear solutions possessing a chain of many exclusive Sleep-ins stores and existence in many of the country's major retail chains. This change has been promising on account of the single-handed effort by only one person, Kishor Chhabria, who is managing director of the Pune-based Kashmira Nighrwear Company -¬ Sleep-ins today is a brand with a national manifestation. Chhabria experienced that Indian consumers have awareness of about selecting of occasion-wear and sleeping dresses were as important as office, casual, party or sports wear, and commence to offer consumers what they required.
Sleep-ins is among the leading players in the segment, and has been beholding considerable growth in its market share over the last few years. This market even today is largely in the unorganised sector where price is the only its consideration. Organised players are not contending with products that are being traded on the streets. The growth in retailing, the rising level of fashion consciousness has supported sleepwear and lingerie move into a higher market step.
Sleep-ins has increased by almost 150 per cent over the two-three decades, they were highly focused in the western market, but this year the brand performed well locally. They have appointed distributors in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, UP, MP, Punjab, etc. and possessed more than 20 exclusive outlets in the country, and will add to this by another six. Besides the exclusive outlets, the brand retails from a many large departmental stores too.
This increasing in retail space is encouraged by the remarkable response the brand has gained in various parts of the country. Many of their garments are in the range of Rs 2000-4000. When introducing these, they believed that sales in this price segment would be optimum in Delhi and Mumbai, and they were staged to see sales growth gained in Punjab. This just set to observe that fashion awareness is high in every part of the country, and there is still a lot of unexploited potential in cities other than the metros. And this is where the fashion aspect plays an important role. The company finds the finest of fabrics from within the country, imports the satins from Korea, and makes the prints in-house.
Sleep-ins is possibly the only far-reaching sleepwear brand for whole family. It satisfies a hidden demand for quality sleepwear which the Sleep-ins exclusive brand stores offer - the whole range for women, men and kids. Within a lesser time from its establishment, the chain stores have registered a good growth all over India. As of now, women in the 18-50 years age group comprise the major buyers though men too make significant purchases. There is a large segment of consumers who wish to wear high quality nighrwear with features that match international standards.
Chhabria himself is a designer and thinks not just making, but real pieces of art. The Sleep-ins variety covers sleepwear and loungewear. The matchless and marvelously confined ensembles in cottons and cotton blended satin and Lycra are all made in-house. Nightshirts are offered in satins and georgettes and animal prints; Robes in soft fabrics; and Chemise in shimmering soft and tender pastel silhouettes. They also offer nighties with spaghetti straps, provoking teddy suits, stylish shorts with bikini tops, pajamas, Capri, etc. For men, Sleep-ins provides an elegant and sophisticated variety of night suits in pure cottons and imported polyesters and robes in soft suede and satins with pajamas.
They believe that men and women of today look at wearability, affordability and comfort; hence, the pricing factor cannot be unnoticed. The brand has helps to match the budget as well as the premium class of customers. Sleep-ins in Pune, which is possibly the biggest sleepwear stores in the country with 1500sq.ft of floor area holding a rich collection of more than 4000 garment pieces at a time. Their exclusive franchisees stores are situated in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Surat, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Baroda and Gurgaon. The brand is also offered at leasing retail chains like Globus, Shopper's Stop, Piramyd and Pantaloons.
The speed at which the brand is growing its market reach states that there is huge experience that gives a solid foundation of self-belief. He started retailing business with a little investment of rupees one crore," "and today aimed at setting up Sleep-ins as a standalone brand, which needs a healthy investment for brand imaging.
Sleep-ins is very well known to the existing competitors and is arranged to take on the new entrants. And they do not bother about stiff competition, as they have a complete range of nightwear and loungewear for women, men and kids. Its close competitor is "Sweat Dreams", but Sweet Dreams has so far not made any branding effort and is currently in all types of stores in the country whereas Sleep-ins is offered at exclusive stores only that placed on a firm territory.
Sleep-ins' immediate object is to go through the premium malls setting up in major cities. But that's not all, the company is foreseeing to setting up Sleep-ins nightwear and loungewear as a quality brand in the international market. They are aimed at identifying the product to the brand, which customers should ask for Sleep-ins rather than any night dress product.
Sleep-ins is now planning to set its product range into the quite lower range of the market too, where the price points would be about Rs 200-400. They could perhaps be retailing these from stores like Big Bazaar. The company has a production capacity of 15,000 garments per month, and is planning to enhance the same by another 25 per cent. They are bringing in 30 more machines, making the total to 130. They are setting in place IT systems for good quality control and monitoring.
Sleep-ins has started business jointly with Disney for supply of 5,000 garments per month, and the enhanced production would mostly go to Disney. The company has also been gaining a plenty of export enquiries from Europe and the Gulf, but is taking time to go in this segment.
Another India supplier, Poppy's Knitwear (P) Ltd, can functions from spinning, weaving and knitting to sewing and finishing, at its factory. The plant is set with Rieter spinners, Vanguard and Orizio knitting machines and Tubetex dyeing units. In India, women's pajamas from Poppy's are ranges in between $3.50 and $8.50 per set. Low-end models are produced by lightweight single-jersey cotton. Midrange designs normally have overall printing and more garment features such as pockets and collars. High-end versions are largely used for winter and produced by heavier fabric such as polar fleece and cotton interlock.
Clifton provides designs priced between $3 and $7. The midsize company makes women's pajama sets for OEM customers like Ethel Austin and Littlewoods of the UK, Carrefour of France and Canada's Teenscene India's Sentinel Clothing Co. engaged in manufacturing of nightwear, kids-wear etc possessed with Taitexma circular rib and interlock knitting machines as well as equipment for making single and flat knitted fabric. Apart from these, the company has machines for silk-screening and embossing.
At Sentinel, women's pajama prices range between for $2.50 to $6.50. Models are normally produced by single-jersey cotton. New entrants have lace trims, ruffles and bows on necklines and sleeve openings. The company possesses three factories in India making more than 3 million women's pajama sets per year. Its 10-member R&D team makes 20 innovative models a month. Leeds' nighwear product ranges from $3.25 to $8. Models are produced by pure cotton or polyester-cotton blends. The company also makes T-shirts, shorts, bathrobes, tank tops and children's wear.
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