MARKET REPORT: Functionnal lingerie in China, Hong Kong and Macau

10 May 2018


Functional lingerie, including mainly functional bras, panties (ankle-length and mid-thigh), vests and body shaping suits (full-body and mid-thigh), refers to undergarment designed to shape wearer’s body shape and encourage good posture.

These products are typically designed to flatten wearer’s stomach and make them look slimmer and more attractive in the outfit they are wearing on top. Functional lingerie comes in various forms, from simple underpants to one-piece garments covering thighs and/or upper body. Functional lingerie is usually made from fabrics made of polyester, polyamide or spandex, which are light materials made from artificial fibers, characterized by elasticity and shape retention ability, and is often applied to make outerwear, activewear and swimwear.

Functional lingerie, as one of the major lingerie products for female consumers, has increasingly obtained market recognition and contributed to a growing share of total lingerie market in China and Hong Kong. Functional lingerie is considered a sub-segment market of lingerie products as it possesses additional functions that are beyond the functions of ordinary lingerie products.


Production volume of functional lingerie in China has been increasing since 2011, from approximately 74.8 million units to approximately 157.7 million units in 2017 and is expected to increase to 387.7 millions units by 2020.

Major raw materials for manufacturing functional lingerie includes fabrics made of artificial fibers. During the past five years, the average prices of these raw materials went through noticeable downturn. The average price of Polyester decreased from approximately 32%. With the supply and demand of such raw materials becoming more stabilized, their prices will experience less fluctuation in the future. The main reason of the price reduction is the over-supply of common textile products in the market, giving manufacturers relatively higher bargaining power in raw material sourcing.


From 2011 to 2015, the retail functional lingerie market in Hong Kong(+83.7%) and China+25.8%) has experienced growth, and is expected to reach approximately HK$386.7 million for Hong Kong and RMB 37.8 billion by 2020.

With regard to the retail sales breakdown in Hong Kong functional bra enjoyed a relatively faster growth rate +136.7%, body shaping underwear growth rate will be up to +126.8% where vest will only record a growth of +116% from 2011 to 2020.
The average retail prices of functional lingerie products sold to the mass market in Hong Kong usually range from HK$250 to HK$450 whereas products above HK$450 and below HK$250 are respectively targeted as high-eng and low-end segments.

In China, retail sales breakdown functional bra and body shaping underwear will enjoy significant growth from 2011 to 2020 (+750%).
The average retail prices of functional lingerie sold to the mass market in China usually range from RMB 150 to RMB 300. Functional Lingerie with prices above RMB 300 is considered as high-end, while functional lingerie with prices below RMB 300 is considered as low-end segment.


Functional lingerie market accounted for approximately 6.5% of the overall lingerie market in Hong Kong, with approximately 40 market players. Hong Kong market is highly concentrated with the top 5 players dominating approximately 89% of the total market. Similar pattern for Macau with approximately 30 market players and 92% of the total market controlled by the top 5 players.
Both SAR have a strong western influence and female consumers are in general more likely to accept functional lingerie product than female consumers in China.

In China there are more than 1,500 functional lingerie brands and the top 5 players only control 25% of the total market.


source: Frost & Sullivan, market research consultant

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