Triumph International plans to entice Sri Lankan men to get intimate with their new clothes range set to roll out in two years time when they introduce the “HOM” lingerie to the Colombo market, which is struggling for increased competition. Set to hit retail stores in Colombo and around the country in either 2014 or [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Triumph set to wrap around your man next!

Lankan women beware:

Triumph International plans to entice Sri Lankan men to get intimate with their new clothes range set to roll out in two years time when they introduce the “HOM” lingerie to the Colombo market, which is struggling for increased competition.

Set to hit retail stores in Colombo and around the country in either 2014 or 2015, the brand’s General Manager for India and Sri Lanka Shalindra Fernando speaking with the Business Times from his Colombo office said they would be rolling out this new collection of men’s brand to the local market along with the Sloggi range for teenagers.

Shalindra Fernando. Pic by M.A Pushpa Kumara

He noted that while they would be tapping into a different segment they had “no fancy expectations” for the HOM label as they saw limited competition in the country at present.

Currently, the product customized for the local market is still at the design stage, Mr. Fernando explained adding that it was already marketed in Western Europe, China, Singapore and Japan.

The Sloggi range targeting the local female teens would offer consumers a colourful and playful selection, Mr. Fernando said.
In the meantime, Triumph would be rolling out its next range of the Butterfly bra collection for women on September 1st with large side panels and strong shaping support in about four colours. It would be simultaneously launched in India as well, as a lace collection of their intimate wear, he explained. From March to June, Triumph had already introduced the shape sensation for a tone and firm body; colour chic collection; and a lace sensation for added feminineness in both markets as part of their new collections.

Next year the new swim and sleep wear would be added to the Triumph’s Colombo collection that was already available in other overseas markets.

These were currently at the design stage and would be customised according to size and range that was acceptable to the Sri Lanka consumers keeping in mind the cultural requirements as well.

In this respect, since the bikini would not be welcome in this market they would market a more Asian friendly product.
Branded intimate wear

competition low

The lingerie market in Sri Lanka is set to have grown by around 15 per cent and for Triumph International its own volume growth had been around 20 per cent YOY for the past three years.

However, the international brand is looking at more competition to stay ahead in the market as they perceive the local consumers were “not very bullish about fashion retail,” Mr. Fernando explained.

The branded lingerie in the country is only 5-6 per cent of the total intimate apparel market, he said adding that they still needed to convince consumers to spend more on inner wear.

With no strong shopping culture and sense of brand buying, the Sri Lankan shopper looked more at purchasing in terms of quantity as opposed to price and shoppers remained averse to buying a lingerie item at a higher price compared to buying a number of outerwear garments.

“Spending in this area is therapeutic,” Mr. Fernando observed adding that the “middle class is happy to spend but there was no brand orientation.” But Triumph was positive of change in the next 3-4 years time with the pace of development in the market.

However, India proved to give adequate space as shoppers in the subcontinent have a frenzy to purchase according to the brand and price with its larger upper middle class who have an inclination to indulge.

In addition, competition was seen to be within about seven active brands available in the market within which Triumph was in second.
In the wake of the recent developments taking place, Triumph was eyeing local conglomerates to fill the void in bringing down new labels and branded products to the Sri Lankan market that currently had a dearth of competition.

Triumph International’s only other competitor in Colombo is Amante that was launched both in Sri Lanka and India by MAS Holdings.

Set to grow in retail

Despite the brand’s intentions to further expand its retail stores with an addition six to ten over the next three year they believed there was a lack of locations available for marketing the international lingerie product in Sri Lanka.

The department stores have become a challenge to offer the entire Triumph collection and in this respect only their retail stores would be providing consumers with a taste of everything available in the market under the brand.

Moreover, the shopping malls in the country also proved to be limited in size and number as only about five malls were present island-wide, he said.

On the other hand, Mr. Fernando pointed out that India proved to have the right size and location for their branded lingerie product as they have a larger penetration in at least 60 shopping malls and 200 department stores.

Another stumbling block for Triumph is the absence of adequate competition in the Sri Lankan market as there were only a limited number of brands currently available. “If there were at least 2-3 players the growth rate can increase,” he explained.

Producing for the markets

Triumph introduces four collections per year to the markets and had brought in the innovation based shape wear with a new category giving different benefits to the consumer.

In addition, different materials were used for producing intimate wear with cotton fabric that was breathable, organic fabric and synthetic fibre with cooling properties; and ethical materials that were socially and environmentally friendly.

India produces to its consumers from its factory in Chennai about 10 million units for both export and domestic markets, Mr. Fernando said. Sri Lanka under the Bodyline category would produce at least five million units per year for export and domestic markets.

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