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New Delhi: Sri-Lanka based textile manufacturer MAS Holdings has set ambitious targets for its lingerie brand ‘Amante’ in India. The $2 billion firm, which designs and makes apparel for global brands such as Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Marks and Spencer, Lululemon Athletica Inc., Columbia Sportswear and Ralph Lauren, plans to expand its physical footprint by setting up 100 exclusive stores in India over the next five years.

The idea is to leverage the need for privacy in lingerie shopping in India and earn Rs1,000 crore in revenue by 2022, said Vivek Mehta, chief executive officer at MAS Brands India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of MAS Holdings.

“We are just starting out with expansion of our exclusive stores because the growth in lingerie is coming from exclusivity and online platforms. Consumers are experiencing issues with multi-brand stores due to absence of trial rooms and lack of availability of designs and sizes. Lingerie, as a category is going through transition. The plan is to grow rapidly by expanding physical footprint," Mehta said, adding that Amante is currently retailed at 10 exclusive stores.

For the year 2016-17, MAS Brands had clocked around 150 crore in revenue. Priced between 499 and 1,995, Amante products are retailed at 1500 points of sales including large format retail stores, multi-brand outlets and exclusive stores. The company also sells through independent online marketplaces and its own e-commerce platform.

Mehta added that Amante at present earns close to 10% of its revenue from online platforms. “Over the next five years, we are expecting online sales to contribute 25-30% to our overall revenue. Consumers are evolving from neighbourhood stores to online shopping. There is a shift to branded space," he said.

Amante is not the only brand that is experimenting in the lingerie space. Over the past one year, a number of brands, home-grown and multinational, have ventured into the women’s innerwear space.

Earlier this year, British retailer Marks and Spencer Group Plc (M&S) opened six pilot standalone beauty and lingerie stores in a bid to crack the apparel market. The 61-year old home-grown firm Lux Industries, known for men’s innerwear brand Lux Cozi, also ventured into the lingerie space in April.

Meanwhile, online lingerie retailers Zivame and Clovia are taking the offline route by setting up physical stores across the country.

According to data from consulting firm KPMG, the women’s innerwear market is estimated at 108.8 billion, 11.7% of the total women’s apparel market. Between 2015 and 2020, the mid-premium segment is expected to grow the fastest at a compound annual growth rate of 22%, according to KPMG.

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