A lingerie line business is a business that designed and sews a collection of lingerie for a target demography or market. Although most lingerie are designed for women, some manufacturers now design lingerie for men. Lingerie is made of lightweight, stretchy, smooth, sheer, or decorative fabrics such as silk, satin, Lycra, charmeuse, chiffon, et al. Lingerie is sold in retail locations and/or through online stores.
The lingerie line is a niche idea in the apparel market and available data shows that the global lingerie market was valued at US$ 46.55 billion in 2020. It is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 8.5 percent from 2022 to 2031.
The regional distribution of the demand share of apparel is expected to stay mostly consistent between 2020 to 2025, although the Asia Pacific region had the highest level of growth at four percent. The three world’s largest apparel markets are the United States, China, and Japan in descending order.
Is It Profitable to Use Contract Manufacturing for Lingerie Line?
Yes, using contract manufacturing for your new lingerie line can be very profitable. Owing to that, and also to attain success in the market, a good number of lingerie businesses are leveraging the expertise and technologies of contract manufacturers.
For one, these experts help businesses to decrease costs. Also, note that they allow lingerie businesses to benefit from lower overhead expenses and/or greater economies of scale for the operation they are hired for. Aside from the cost, other reasons for contract manufacturing include access to new technology, quality, capacity, faster lead times, expertise, flexibility, and better return on resources.
Steps on How to Start a Lingerie line business
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
The first step in the market research process for your lingerie line business is to develop a market-based research question in line with your overall business goal and objective.
In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will give you reliable data on what your potential market will be looking out for from a lingerie line business, the designs and styles that people will be able to spend a premium on and also to help you operate your lingerie line business with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability within the shortest time frame.
Interesting Statistics About the Industry
Statistics has it that in 2010, American households spent an average of $1,700 on apparel (lingerie inclusive), footwear, and related fashion products and services. In the 2010 alone, the global market for textiles made from organically grown cotton was worth well over $5 billion; that goes to show how big the industry is.
The bureau of statistics stated that employment in the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry has declined by more than 80 percent (from about 900,000 to 150,000 jobs) over the past twenty years. However, labor productivity in the U.S. manufacturing sector more than doubled from 1987 to 2010. Labor productivity also more than doubled over that period in U.S. textile mills and nearly doubled in the footwear manufacturing sector as well.
According to report released by IBIS World, the Lingerie, Swimwear and Bridal Line industry is moderately concentrated, with the four largest companies representing 43.1 percent of total industry market share. The report stated that while L Brands dominates the industry with 36.1 percent market share, the remaining companies are small to medium-sized players that offer specialized and niche products.
In fact, IBIS World also estimates that over 85.0 percent of all companies are non – employers, which are operators without hired employees. Industry concentration has increased over the past five years, largely due to Victoria’s Secret outperforming the industry thanks to its well-recognized brand name and expanding product line; the company’s market share has grown from 17.7 percent in 2011 to 18.4 percent in 2016.
Some of the leading labels in the lingerie line cum fashion industry are from the United States of America, even though some of these lingerie cum fashion labels outsource the production of their lingerie and clothings et al to other parts of the world; predominantly countries in Asia just in the bid to cut cost.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own lingerie line manufacturing company is that the business is a thriving business and the products can be sold not just in your country but all across the globe.
The lingerie line cum clothing line industry is growing and there are opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch their own lingerie line business from the scratch and still become a globally recognized lingerie brand. The advent of computer and computer software brought leverage in the lingerie line industry.
Designing lingerie can be conveniently done with the aid of software, and a designer can reach out to the world market by putting up his products (lingerie and similar apparels) for sale online; Instagram, YouTube et al are good platforms to promote this type of business.
a. Who is the Target Market for Lingerie Line Business?
If you are thinking of opening a lingerie line business then you should make target demographics all-encompassing. It should include boutiques, clothing stores, females, corporate executives, socialites, students, sportswomen, and every female adult in the neighborhood where your lingerie line business will be located and of course on the internet.
b. Is Lingerie Line Business a Profitable Business?
Yes, the lingerie line business is profitable all across the globe. The lingerie market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 7.79 percent by 2027. The lingerie market is growing because of the increasing availability of a broad range of products.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the lingerie line because the lingerie line is a niche idea in the apparel industry.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- L Brands
- Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection
- Calvin Klein Underwear
- Victoria’s Secret
- Stella McCartney
- XTG Extreme Game
- Boutique La Vie en Rose
- Adore Me
- Cherie Amie
- Fruit of the Loom
- Frederick’s of Hollywood
- Curvy Kate
- Jours Apres Lunes
- Iris Lingerie
- Kiss Me Deadly
- True & Co.
- Vedette Shapewear
- Warnaco Group
- Princesse Tam Tam.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Lingerie Line?
Yes, there are county or state regulations and zoning laws for lingerie line business especially if you choose to open a production factory. Players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing such business in the county or state where their business is domiciled.
f. Is There a Franchise for Lingerie Line Business?
No, there are no franchise opportunities for lingerie line business.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Lingerie Line Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business and Marketing Plans
- Business Licenses and Permits
- A Good Production Facility and Showroom
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Equipment, Machines, and Raw Materials
- Startup and Working Capital
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a lingerie line business are;
Creative Lingerie Line Business Name ideas
- Laura Williams® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Tine and Tyler® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Zara and Zoe® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Ted Capstone™ Fashion Brands, Inc.
- Esther Lane® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Al Baroness® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Lady Annie® Lingerie Line, LLC
- Macron Martins® Lingerie Line, LLC
- High End® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Nelly B® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Maria De La Rosa® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Stacy McRib ™ Lingerie Line, LLC
- Bridget Decoster™ Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Broadway™ Lingerie Line, LLC
- Lola Signature® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Jacinta Borrow® Lingerie Line, Inc.
- See Through© Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Georgina Paulson™ Lingerie Line, LLC
- Jill Noel™ Lingerie Line, Inc.
- Madonna Whyte® Lingerie Line, Inc.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Lingerie Line Business?
Even though there are several options when it comes to the business structure of a lingerie line business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meeting and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your lingerie line business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entity to use for your lingerie line business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Lingerie Line Business?
- General Business License
- Seller’s Permit
- Fire and Safety Permit (Fire certificates)
- Federal Export Licenses
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- State Occupational Licenses
- Operational State Facility Inspections (Building Permits)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Lingerie Line Business?
You don’t need any certifications to open a lingerie line business.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Lingerie Line Business?
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Document
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting a lingerie line business, usually you may need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. The nature of the business makes it possible for you to have cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties especially as it relates to your designs or logo et al.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Lingerie Line Business?
When it comes to starting a lingerie line business, the startup costs vary and could range from $10,000 to over $500,000.
b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Lingerie Line Business?
- The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the lingerie line business for $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for $3,580.
- Cost for hiring a Business Consultant – $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- Cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of $53,300.
- Cost for facility remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $5,000.
- Other start-up expenses like stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
- The cost for equipping the production factory – $45,000
- The cost for start-up inventory (lightweight, stretchy, smooth, sheer, or decorative fabrics such as silk, satin, Lycra, charmeuse, chiffon, et al, sewing supplies and packaging materials et al) – $25,000
- Cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,750
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound systems, tables and chairs et al): $4,000.
- The cost of Launching a website: $600
- The cost for our opening party: $3,000
- Miscellaneous: $5,000
c. What Factors Determine The Cost Of Opening a Lingerie Line Business?
- The size of the lingerie line business
- The choice of location
- The required licenses and permits
- The type of lingerie line business
- The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the lingerie line business
- The cost of furnishing and equipping the facility
- The cost of the insurance policy covers
- The cost of registering the business
- Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
- Cost of recruiting and training your staff
- The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
- The cost for the grand opening of the lingerie line business.
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your lingerie line, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility for your lingerie line business will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Lingerie Line Business?
- Rent and lease
- Supplies and inventory
- Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
- Maintenance of machines
- Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executive Officer (President) – $65,000 Per Year
- Factory Manager – $38,000 Per Year
- Merchandise Manager – $35,630Per Year
- Fashion Designers – $35,000 Per Year
- Accountant (Cashier) – $30,500 Per Year
- Marketing and Sales Executives – $28,000 Per Year
- Tailors – $28,100 Per Year
- Customer Service Executive – $26,000 Per Year
- Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Lingerie Line Business?
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Zara and Zoe™ Lingerie Line, Inc. is a standard lingerie line business that will be located in an industrial area in San Diego, California. We have been able to secure a long-term lease agreement for a facility in a strategic location with an option of a long-term renewal on terms and conditions that are favorable to us. The facility has government approval for the kind of business we want to run and it is easily accessible.
b. Products and Service
- Lingerie Sets
- Lingerie Costumes
- Baby dolls & Chemises
- Bodysuits & Teddies
- Crotchless Lingerie
- Corsets & Bustier
- See-through Lingerie.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to build a highly successful lingerie line business whose brand will be known all around key cities in the United States of America and around the globe.
Our vision is to be among the top 10 lingerie brands in the world.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of a lingerie line business are to design and produce lingerie for females.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executive Officer (President)
- Factory Manager
- Merchandise Manager
- Fashion Designers
- Accountant (Cashier)
- Marketing and Sales Executives
- Customer Services Executives
- Security Guard
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a lingerie line production business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for lingerie.
a. SWOT Analysis
- Ideal location for a lingerie line business
- Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
- Access to finance from business partners
- Excellent customer testimonials.
- Unique design and styles
- Financial Constraints
- A new business that will be competing with well-established lingerie brands.
- Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
- A rise in people who want to join fashion trends
- Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets
- Increase in the number of the human population within our target market area.
- The arrival of a new lingerie line business within our market space
- Unfavorable government policy and regulations.
- Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas will reduce industry profitability.
- Economic uncertainty
- Liability problems
b. How Does Lingerie Line Make Money?
Lingerie lines make money by selling;
- Lingerie Sets
- Lingerie Costumes
- Baby dolls & Chemises
- Bodysuits & Teddies
- Crotchless Lingerie
- Corsets & Bustier
- See-through Lingerie.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers, lifestyle and fashion magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community-based events / programs
- Leverage the internet and social media platforms like; Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
- Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills to target areas
- Contact corporate executives, students, migrants, entrepreneurs, business people, sportsmen and women, and every adult in the neighborhood where your lingerie line business will be located informing them about your business and the products you retail
- List your lingerie line business in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your lingerie line business on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your lingerie line business is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and that all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?
The price of lingerie depends on the type, size, and brand of the product.
b. How Much Profit Do Lingerie line business Owners Make a Year?
It depends, but the available report shows that the national average earnings for lingerie line business owners are approximately $51,000 per year. Lingerie line business profits can average between $23,751 and $140,935 or even more, depending on your location, line specifics, expenses, marketing efforts, and company size.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the lingerie line business
- The location the lingerie business is covering (online or strictly brick and mortar)
- The management style of the lingerie line business
- The business approach of the lingerie line business
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the lingerie line
- The number of years the lingerie line is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Lingerie Line Business Product/Service?
The lingerie business gains a handful of profit on all products and the margins usually range from 20% to around 60-70 percent.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $340,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $450,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $780,000
Set Up your Shop
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Lingerie Line Business?
- The demography of the location
- The demand for lingerie in the location
- The purchasing power of businesses and the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of lingerie lines and other fashion outlets in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your lingerie line production business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people (female folks) with the required purchasing power and lifestyle.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your lingerie line production company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. Which is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set – up your own lingerie line production business.
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Lingerie Line Business?
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Los Angeles, California
- Chicago, Illinois
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Silver Spring, Maryland
- Rowland Heights, California
- Portland, Oregon
- New York City, New York
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Dallas, Texas
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Lingerie Line Business?
- Industrial sewing machines
- Pattern makers for crafting designs
- Women and men dress forms used for garment building
- Hole punchers
- Straight and curved rulers
- Measuring tapes
- Notchers for marking seams
- Dotted pattern paper
- Sewing machine needles
- Hand sewing needles
- Sketching books
- Drapings tools
- Dressmaking Stick pins
- Style tapes
- Fabric shears
- Soft lead pencil
- Marking pen
- Pattern plotter
- Pattern-making software
- CAD tools for designs
- Digital drawing tools
- Digitizer board for pattern scanning
- Heat transfer machines for T-shirts
- Print tables
- Slat wall
- Labels and Tags
- Packaging materials
- Industrial pressing irons
- Supply of fabrics
These are the basic machines needed to launch the business. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used equipment/machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a longer life span.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard lingerie line business, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (president), factory manager, merchandise manager, accountant (cashier), marketing and sales executives, and tailors, fashion designers, and security guard.
These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 10 t0 15 key staff members to run a small-scale but standard lingerie line production business.
Launch the Business Proper
In recent times, no lingerie business opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.
The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the lingerie line business, you will officially inform people in your city that your lingerie line is open for business.
a. What Makes a Lingerie Line Business Successful?
- Choose a good location and showroom facility to launch the business
- Make sure your lingerie and unique and the finishing is topnotch
- Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
- Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your lingerie line business
- Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your lingerie line business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Lingerie Business?
- The production factory is open for the day’s work
- The facility is cleaned and well-arranged
- Factory swing into action (production of lingerie)
- Deliveries of orders are made
- Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
- The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Lingerie Line Business?
- Good fashion design sense
- Excellent tailoring skills
- Excellent customer services skills
- Interpersonal skill
- Accounting and bookkeeping skills
- Business management skills
- Bargaining and bidding skills
- Work experience in a lingerie line business environment
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration.