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Invista launches first pop-up lingerie store in Shanghai

By He Wei in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-12-05 18:36

Invista, the US fiber and fabrics giant known for its Lycra trademark, launched its first pop-up store in Shanghai under the "L by Lycra" brand to capture a bigger slice of the Chinese market.

The only business-to-customer brand featuring functional garments and underwear will greet Chinese customers with five retail stores by the end of 2017, with more on course to open next year, said Serge Vigouroux, Invista's executive vice-president for business development.

With an existing presence on JD.com, China's second largest shopping site, the lingerie will shortly expand into "a particularly major platform", he said, as e-commerce plays a crucial role in driving sales and brand promotion to succeed in the Chinese retail landscape.

A vibrant business environment, sophisticated customer preferences, and the seamless integration of online and offline channels have propelled the brand to launch its own counter, after being introduced to China a few years back through a partnership with Gujin, a domestic underwear maker, Vigouroux noted.

"Nine out of 10 customers said they are satisfied with our products and want to repurchase. So it is very important to provide the option to experience through concept stores and a retail booth in brick-and-mortar stores when people can also search and purchase online," he said.

Research by consultancy Euromonitor International found that China's top 10 lingerie producers commanded about a 13 percent share of the market. The sector comprises thousands of little-known players that sell low-priced items.

Such market fragmentation would leave space for brands like L by Lycra to expand and gain a share, as sophisticated Chinese women tend to have a more functional orientation towards lingerie, said Kim Chi Phung, global business development director at Invista.

"Our products aim to bring functionality and comfort at the same time. It's especially developed for wearing throughout the day, and for any occasion," she said.