What Happened: Beijing-based Chinese lingerie conglomerate Aimer (爱慕) has requested to take the company public, and China’s Securities Regulatory Commission has approved. Aimer hopes to raise around $117 million to strengthen its marketing, data capabilities, and production (currently based in Vietnam).
Founded in 1993, Aimer Group began as a mass-market underwear brand for women, men, and children. Today, it has 20 individual lines, including La Clover, which was launched in 2004 with an eye on the luxury market. La Clover has over 60 stores in luxury malls across the Mainland, while Aimer has 220 stores in China.
Jing Take: Once again, China’s $61 billion lingerie sector is under the microscope. Aimer joins three other local lingerie companies on the stock exchange: Huijie Group, Embry Group, and Cosmo Lady. In recent years, Jing Daily reported on the rise of local conglomerates and brands, many of whom, like Aimer and Love Lingerie, started in the 1990s and have cultivated strong fanbases over the decades.
From the 2010s onwards, a new breed of homegrown brands that are more in tune with the needs, tastes, and shapes of younger consumers started eyeing a market share in China. Many new names are backed by female investors, pushing capital toward digital startups like Bananain, which has grown into multi-million dollar businesses in three years. Disruptors like NEIWAI and Jiaoxia are challenging beauty perceptions while capturing millennial and Gen-Z fans with newly-designed brick-and-mortar stores, comfortable garments, and clever advertising campaigns. And Ubras, which was only founded in 2016, grabbed the top spot in lingerie sales at Tmall’s Double 11 event.
Aimer has stepped up its digital game to cope with local competition by tapping mega-celebrities Viya and Li Jiaqi for its livestream product sales. Now, lingerie is officially one of luxury’s vulnerabilities in China, at risk to homegrown names with a better sense of local demands. Instead of international names like Victoria’s Secret and La Perla, the real action is now taking place among domestics players, and Aimer’s IPO is merely the latest play.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.