Etam, a French lingerie brand has launched in Nairobi’s Village Market. It joins a growing number of international retailers, seeking a share of Kenya’s growing underwear, swimwear, nightwear and footwear market.
Liberty Eagle is an advisory group that works with the world’s biggest fashion, beauty, and food brands. The company opened 10 years ago with four international brands. It has a main office in Kenya with a presence in Uganda.
The entry for Etam was easier, as there was almost no competition. There was no store that had comfortable, well-fitting and beautiful innerwear that women loved. Also, there was no store that offered measurement as part of the service. The French lingerie brand is targeting, anyone who can afford the innerwear and this includes the middle class and foreigners.
Most of their customers are women, and once in a while, a few men pop into the store with their loved ones. Pricing starts from Sh2,700 and rises depending on the item being purchased.
Etam prides itself on two unique selling points; measurement. Before the customer makes a purchase, they are fitted to ensure that they know their right size and buy a fitting undergarment.
They also stock mastectomy bras, which are uncommon in the Kenyan market forcing women to shop abroad or in thrift markets. They have a post-mastectomy lingerie line and swimwear. This line consists of bras designed around a base of four shapes, the pieces have integrated pockets to accommodate any prosthesis.
Many businesses have entered, tried to conquer, failed and exited Kenya. Some fail due to high pricing while others are unable to overcome logistics challenges, and some are due to both issues.
Liberty Eagle has expansion plans for Etam. The second store will be in Mombasa.