In recent years, the Indian apparel market has been among the fastest-growing in the world, with the men's segment being a significant contributor. The entire apparel market in India is anticipated to reach a valuation of over Rs 3 trillion by 2025, with men's wear accounting for a substantial share. With rapid urbanization and the increasing influence of Western lifestyles, there's a shift in men's fashion preferences in India. Brands offering western wear and premium segments saw good growth. Online shopping and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are gaining prominence. Many traditional retailers are expanding their online presence, and new D2C brands are disrupting the market by offering unique products and experiences. One such D2C player that is disrupting the men’s wear market is The Bear House.
The Bear House is inspired by European fashion and was built on the first principles of providing the finest quality, fit, look, and feel, and an international finish at affordable price points.
“Menswear options in India have historically been limited, especially when it comes to affordable choices. We have managed to disrupt this market by bringing European fashion to India at affordable price points. The Bear House clocked a gross revenue of Rs 91 crore in FY23 from Rs 26 crore in FY22 and Rs 10 crore in FY 2021, achieving a three-digit growth rate from FY21 to FY23. The brand has a current ARR of Rs 152 crore, and is looking to scale up to Rs 500 crore by 2027,” said Tanvi Somaiya and Harsh Somaiya, Co-Founders, The Bear House.
Starting with men’s shirts in 2018, The Bear House has expanded its playbook up to 12 categories including tees, polos, denims, boxers, sweatshirts, trousers, etc. It currently houses 8000+ SKUs and it launches at least 120+ styles every month.
“We will launch sneakers, socks, belts, sunglasses, and caps by December 2023 to promote up-selling and cross-selling. We aspire to cater to all men’s needs by 2025,” noted Tanvi.
Due to the increase in the demand for knits, the brand is also aiming to increase the knits contribution to 30 percent. It has already launched and is expanding into the Flat Knit Range which is not dominantly available in India as of today.
The Bear House currently does all its business online. Apart from its website, the brand is present on marketplaces such as Ajio, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Nykaa Man, and Flipkart. The revenue is split between marketplaces and websites, wherein 80 percent comes through marketplaces while the remaining 20 percent is through its D2C website.
“We are amongst the top 5 brands sold in Ajio and in the top 10 in Myntra in our category. We aim to scale and become the best-sold brand in the marketplace by offering a wide variety in existing categories and launching newer categories,” stated Tanvi.
“We would like to continue our aggressive growth trajectory. We feel the market is big enough for us to still grow in double-digit growth for the next 3-5 years,” Harsh added.
The brand launched its website in March 2022. The Co-Founders wanted to build their website to be on par with international brands and create a strong brand pull on social media. D2C allows them complete control over the brand image, messaging, and customer experience. This ensures consistent branding across all customer touchpoints.
“Interacting directly with consumers allows us to better understand their preferences, feedback, and shopping behavior. This invaluable data can inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer service improvements. By selling directly, we can offer exclusive products or collections that aren't available elsewhere, creating a unique value proposition for consumers,” they asserted.
The Bear House is in the process of optimizing funnels, improving customer experience and service, retention. It aims to achieve 30 percent of the sales from its D2C website by 2024.
The brand recognizes the immense potential of reaching customers through physical stores, offering a tangible and immersive experience of its products. Hence, it is making a foray into the offline retail market by launching four stand-alone concept stores in metro cities.
“Our ambitious goal is to establish 100 stores by 2026 demonstrating our commitment to extending our reach to a diverse consumer base, spanning across metros, Tier I, and II cities. This expansion not only reinforces our brand's presence but also allows us to create meaningful, in-person connections with our customers, providing them with a hands-on experience of our products and a personal touch to our service,” said Harsh.
The brand wants to be the pioneer of innovative fabrics. It is working on numerous fabrics which are only made in China. It aims to achieve the same quality in India. “Our target is to produce special fabrics like Nylon Viscose Blends, Nylon Bamboo Blend, Spandex, Poly Lycra, Recyclable bamboo cotton, etc,” noted Tanvi.
The Bear House is also introducing AR and VR Fitting Rooms. Virtual fitting rooms allow customers to try on clothes without physically wearing them. Augmented Reality (AR) apps can superimpose clothes on a user's live camera feed, giving them an idea of how it might look.
The company is committed to a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses a variety of approaches to gain more traction and establish a strong brand presence. First and foremost, the brand leverages social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp to showcase its products to a wide audience. In line with its focus on a strong online presence, the brand partners with nano and micro-influencers, those with smaller but highly engaged audiences, to act as the face of the brand and generate authentic content. To encourage customer loyalty, it offers enticing loyalty programs that promote repeat purchases.
Furthermore, The Bear House collaborates with other brands and celebrities to create limited-edition products, fostering exclusivity and generating buzz. It also employs affiliate marketing strategies, partnering with bloggers, fashion websites, and influencers to earn commissions for every sale they refer.
In addition, retention marketing plays a crucial role in retaining its customer base and reducing customer acquisition costs.
The brand closed at Rs 91 crore gross revenue for FY22-23. “Our current trajectory is Rs 152-160 crore and we would be able to achieve it since we have already crossed Rs 85 crore year to date,” they mentioned.
“We are currently bootstrapped though we are in talks with a few esteemed marquee investors. We plan to raise 5-7 million to aid our expansion plan,” they concluded.