China Sourcing Report: Women's Underwear & Swimwear

23 Nov 2011 • by Natalie Aster

China companies offering women’s underwear and swimwear are strengthening R&D and manufacturing capability under efforts to sustain competitiveness.

The industry’s pricing advantage has been reduced due to elevated material and labor costs, which account for a large portion of production expenses. Adding to suppliers’ difficulties is the yuan’s appreciation. These factors compelled many exporters to impose markups within the past 12 months.

Custom statistics indicate that overseas sales are growing in terms of value, with figures jumping at least 15 percent month on month during March and April 2011. Revenue continued to increase from May to July, but at a slower rate. Volume shipments, in contrast, rose 5 percent at most. This suggests improved sales were a result of higher quotes rather than strong demand.

The report “China Sourcing Report: Women's Underwear & Swimwear” by Global Sources covers the major products of China’s women’s underwear and swimwear industry, namely bras, panties, shaping and thermal undergarments, sleeping apparel, robes, bikinis, maillots, rashguards, boardshorts and swimsuit coverups.

Key findings:

  1. The high cost of materials and labor, and the stronger local currency continue to be the biggest challenges for the industry. These are expected to push up prices in the next six months. Most suppliers plan to keep increases within 10 percent.
  2. Businesses are raising product development allocations, which go mainly to hiring additional design specialists. The fortified R&D teams are counted on to create at least one new model per day. The funds are also used for setting up research centers, and sending personnel to local and international trade exhibitions.
  3. Factories are being equipped with advanced machinery as part of endeavors to shorten processing time while boosting yield. Most plants employ locally developed units and systems. Imported kinds are usually from Japan or Italy.
  4. Varied trends are apparent in different subcategories. Simplicity is emphasized for the latest underwear, pajamas, robes and other sleeping garments. Intimate apparel with shaping functions, on the other hand, features a more ornate appearance. Likewise, recently launched bikinis and maillots boast vibrant colors and patterns.
  5. Performance is highlighted particularly in swimwear. Resistance to bacteria, chlorine and UV rays are becoming mainstream properties. Similarly, bra designs are being improved for better fit.
  6. North America and the EU will still be the key export destinations for the majority of suppliers despite concerns about the debt crisis.

Report Details:

China Sourcing Report: Women's Underwear & Swimwear
Published: October 2011
Pages: 77
Price: US$ 350.00

Report Sample Abstract

Supplier profiles: Baichuan Dress & Weaving Co. Ltd Quanzhou

The entire women’s underwear and swimwear line of Hong Kong-invested Baichuan is dedicated to overseas markets. It brings in 30 percent of the company’s $10 million total annual revenue.

The maker yields 71,000 panties, sleepwear and swimsuit coverups per month. Sixty percent of output is sent to the EU, which will be the target market in the next half-year. Francebased Sergent Major, Denmark’s Disney, Key in Poland and Jeep in the UK are major clients. North and South America, non-EU countries, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East share the rest of the exports.

Baichuan will decrease prices by 11 to 15 percent in the next 12 months. Sales are expected to stay the same.

More information can be found in the report “China Sourcing Report: Women's Underwear & Swimwear” by Global Sources.

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