How to start a Lingerie Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Lingerie Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Lingerie Business?
  • How much does it cost to start a Lingerie Business ?
  • How to find the best location to open a Lingerie Business?
  • What different types of services you can offer as a Lingerie business?


In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Lingerie Business?

With a global market value of around $29.4 billion, the Lingerie industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now. 


The lingerie industry involves designing, manufacturing, marketing, and selling women’s underwear and related products. This includes many items, such as bras, panties, sleepwear, loungewear, and hosiery. 


The industry is highly competitive, with brands specializing in luxury, sports, and sustainable products. Therefore, successful companies must innovate, market effectively, and respond to changing consumer preferences.


By the end of this article, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to start a Lingerie business and the critical considerations for making it a success.

Market Insight: In the UK, the Lingerie Industry is valued at £4 billion, while in the US, the market is valued at $14 billion.

Lingerie Business

Types of Lingerie Business Models

Several business models can be applied to the lingerie business:


  • Online-only model: 
    This model involves selling lingerie products exclusively through an online store. It can be a cost-effective approach as it eliminates the need for a physical storefront and allows for a broader customer reach.
  • Brick-and-mortar model: 
    This model involves setting up a physical store or boutique where customers can come and purchase lingerie products. This model requires a significant investment in rent, utilities, and other expenses associated with maintaining a physical store.
  • Hybrid model: 
    This model involves a combination of both online and physical store sales. It allows for a broader customer reach while providing a physical location for customers to browse and try on products.
  • Subscription model: 
    This model offers a subscription service where customers can receive a regular supply of lingerie products monthly or quarterly. This model can be a good source of recurring revenue.
  • Private label model: 
    This model involves creating and branding your line of lingerie products. It requires a significant investment in design, production, and marketing but can result in higher profit margins and brand recognition.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Pros and Cons of a Lingerie Business

Pros of a Lingerie Business:


  • High-profit margins
  • Steady demand
  • Opportunity for customization
  • Ability to target a specific niche market


Cons of a Lingerie Business:


  • High competition
  • Sensitive and personal product
  • Difficulty with sizing and fit
  • Seasonal fluctuations in sales.

Top Lingerie Business in the UK and USA to take inspiration from:


1. Agent Provocateur
2. Boux Avenue
3. Ann Summers
4. Figleaves
5. Marks & Spencer (M&S)


1. Victoria's Secret
2. Adore Me
3. ThirdLove
4. Aerie
5. Soma

Lingerie Business Investment

The investment required to start a Lingerie business in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of services you will provide, and the labor cost.


The average cost to open a small laundry business in the US ranges from $10K – $100K. While in the UK, the average cost to open a small lingerie business could be around £10K to £70K.


Here are some of the potential expenses you might have to consider:


  • Rent for the store or warehouse
  • Inventory cost (the cost of buying the products from suppliers)
  • Furniture, fixtures, and equipment (racks, hangers, display cases, cash register, etc.)
  • Marketing and advertising expenses (website development, online ads, print ads, etc.)
  • Staff salaries (if you plan to hire employees)
lingerie business

How much will you earn in the Lingerie Business?

It is easier to estimate earnings in the Lingerie business with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining earnings.

The average US Lingerie revenue is around $300K – $600K annuallywhile in the UK, it’s around £200K – £350K per year, with a profit margin of about 15% – 25%. 

Top 10 lingerie items in the USA and UK, with approximate prices listed side by side:


  • Bralette – USA: $20-50 / UK: £15-40
  • Thong – USA: $10-30 / UK: £8-25
  • Boyshorts – USA: $10-30 / UK: £8-25
  • Push-up bra – USA: $30-80 / UK: £25-60
  • Strapless bra – USA: $30-70 / UK: £20-50
  • Sports bra – USA: $20-60 / UK: £15-45
  • Chemise – USA: $20-60 / UK: £15-45
  • Babydoll – USA: $20-60 / UK: £15-45
  • Corset – USA: $50-150 / UK: £40-120
  • Bodysuit – USA: $30-80 / UK: £25-60


Note: These prices are approximate and can vary depending on various factors such as the brand, material, and location of purchase. It is always a good idea to research the specific product and shop around to find the best deals.


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Lingerie Business

Checklist of Equipment needed for a Lingerie Business

Here is a checklist of essential equipment that may be required for a lingerie, cosplay, or themed costume business:


  • Sewing machines
  • Fabric cutting table
  • Mannequins or dress forms
  • Measuring tapes and rulers
  • Scissors and rotary cutters
  • Pins and needles
  • Irons and ironing boards
  • Serger machines
  • Computer and design software
  • Fabric and lace swatches
  • Pattern-making tools
  • Bra cups and underwires
  • Elastic and other trims
  • Storage racks and shelves
  • Packaging materials (boxes, bags, tissue paper)
  • Label maker and tags
  • Shipping supplies
  • Point-of-sale system and cash register
  • Security systems and cameras
  • Office equipment (printer, scanner, phone).


Note: Additional equipment and tools may be necessary depending on the scale and type of business. Therefore, assessing the business’s needs and acquiring the appropriate equipment and supplies is essential to ensure efficient and effective operations.

Lingerie Business

Types of Staff needed to start a Lingerie Business

The number of team members required for a lingerie business will vary depending on the size and complexity of the business operations.


Here are some potential roles and responsibilities that may be necessary:


  • Designer: 
    Responsible for creating new lingerie designs, selecting fabrics and trims, and overseeing the final product development.
  • Seamstress: 
    Skilled in sewing and construction, responsible for producing lingerie pieces according to the designer’s specifications.
  • Patternmaker: 
    Creates patterns for each lingerie style based on the designer’s sketches or specifications.
  • Sales associate: 
    Assisted customers with purchases, provided fitting advice, and maintained store appearance.
  • Marketing and social media specialist: 
    Develops and implements marketing strategies to promote the lingerie brand, manages social media accounts, and creates content for the website.
  • Inventory manager: 
    Oversees the purchasing, receiving, and storing of lingerie materials and finished products.
  • Customer service representative: 
    Handles customer inquiries, returns, and exchanges and ensures customer satisfaction.
  • Accountant/bookkeeper: 
    Manages financial records, tracks expenses, and prepares financial reports.
  • A web developer or e-commerce manager: 
    Maintains and updates the company’s website, manages online sales, and ensures the website is user-friendly and secure.
  • The store manager (if applicable): 
    Oversees the store’s day-to-day operations, manages staff, and ensures that the store is profitable and meets customer needs.


The exact number and combination of team members required will depend on the size and scope of the business. However, it’s essential to carefully consider the roles and responsibilities necessary to ensure a smooth and successful operation.

Trends & Challenges in the Lingerie Business

Trends in the Lingerie Business:

1. Inclusivity and diversity in sizing and marketing.
2. Sustainable and eco-friendly lingerie options.
3. Comfort and functionality taking priority over aesthetics.
4. Increased popularity of bralettes and sports bras.
5. Rise of lingerie subscription services.

Challenges in the Lingerie Business:

1. Strong competition from established brands.
2. Difficulty in finding skilled and experienced staff.
3. Complexities in sizing and fit, leading to high return rates.
4. High costs of materials, production, and marketing.
5. Limited market research and consumer insights.
6. Rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer preferences.

Lingerie Business

Types of Products you could sell in a Lingerie Business

In a Lingerie business, the list of products you provide can determine the overall success of your business and will be the main reason your customers come back every time.


Here is a list of products that can be offered in a Lingerie business:



  • Bras (including wired, wireless, padded, push-up, sports, and nursing bras)
  • Panties (including thongs, boyshorts, briefs, and seamless styles)
  • Lingerie sets (including bras and matching panties)
  • Shapewear (including bodysuits, corsets, and waist trainers)
  • Hosiery (including tights, stockings, and thigh-highs)
  • Sleepwear (including pajamas, nightgowns, and robes)
  • Swimwear (including bikinis and one-piece swimsuits)
  • Bridal lingerie (including garters, stockings, and lingerie sets)
  • Maternity lingerie (including nursing bras and maternity panties)
  • Accessories (including lingerie bags, nipple covers, and bra extenders)
Some additional products you could sell that could differentiate you from other lingerie businesses:

  • Lingerie for men (including briefs, boxers, and thongs)
  • Plus-size lingerie (including bras, panties, and bodysuits)
  • Lingerie for special occasions (including Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas)
  • Loungewear (including lounging robes, leggings, and sweatshirts)
  • Lingerie for people with disabilities (including adaptive bras and panties)
  • Lingerie for dancers and performers (including dance belts and tights)
  • Lingerie for athletes (including sports bras and performance underwear)
  • Lingerie for people with medical needs (including post-surgery bras and mastectomy bras)
  • Lingerie made from eco-friendly materials (including organic cotton and bamboo)
  • Vintage lingerie and retro-inspired styles.



Note: The specific services offered in a Lingerie business may vary depending on the focus, location, and target market.

Lingerie Business

Tips to grow your Lingerie Business 

Here are some tips for growing a lingerie business in the USA and UK:



  • Develop a strong brand identity: 
    A defined brand identity helps differentiate the business from competitors. So, consider developing a unique logo, color scheme, and a tone resonating with the target audience.
  • Utilize social media: 
    Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to promote products and engage with customers. Post consistently content, using relevant hashtags, and collaborate with influencers that can help increase brand awareness and drive sales.
  • Participate in local events: 
    Host or participate in local events, such as pop-up shops or craft fairs, to connect with potential customers and generate buzz for the business. Consider partnering with other local businesses or organizations to increase exposure.
  • Offer exceptional customer service: 
    Provide customers with a positive experience that can help build loyalty and generate positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. Respond promptly to inquiries, offering customized options, and handle returns and exchanges professionally for a positive customer experience.
  • Expand product offerings: 
    Consider expanding the product line to include items such as accessories, hosiery, or swimwear. Offer comprehensive products that help attract new customers and increase sales from existing customers.
  • Focus on sustainability and ethics: 
    Prioritize ethical and sustainable products and practices and consider incorporating eco-friendly materials, offering made-to-order or small-batch production, and transparently communicating the business’s ethical practices to customers.
  • Invest in e-commerce: 
    Have a user-friendly and visually appealing website to drive online sales and reach customers beyond the local area. Invest in online marketing strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to help increase visibility and traffic to the website.


A lingerie business can grow and thrive in the USA and UK markets by implementing these tips and staying current with industry trends and customer preferences.

Steps to consider while pricing your Lingerie services to finalize a profitable pricing strategy:-

1. Calculate your overall budget and running cost per month

2. Calculate your cost per hour

3. Calculate the overall working hours per month

4. Know what others salons are charging

5. Calculate your service cost

Certification and Registration

Licences in a Lingerie Business 

Licenses and permits required for a lingerie business can vary depending on the location and specific services offered. Here are some common licenses and permits that may be required in the UK and US:



Licenses and Permissions Required to operate a Lingerie Business:




  • Obtain a business license.
  • Obtain a sales tax permit.
  • Comply with zoning and building codes.
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  • If the lingerie contains certain materials or chemicals, adhere to regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or other federal agencies.




  • Comply with regulations set by the UK Trading Standards office.
  • Comply with the Consumer Rights Act and labeling laws.
  • Obtain licenses or permits, if required, to sell certain materials or chemicals.


Note: Researching and complying with all relevant laws and regulations is crucial before starting a lingerie business in either country.

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lingerie business

Business you should explore after this!

While Lingerie is an extraordinary industry to get your hands on and has its audience from which you could quickly profit, there is always a chance that after you have grown this business to a certain height, you may need more than that audience!


In that situation, the first instinct of a business person like you would be to try something new, but be careful as you would want something that aligns with your knowledge and is similar to your Lingerie business. 


So here are two businesses you should explore!


1. Cosplay Business:


The cosplay business is rising because of the popularity of comic books, anime, and other forms of pop culture. Cosplay allows fans to embody their favorite characters and immerse themselves in the world they love. 


It provides a way for people to express their creativity and individuality, much like how Lingerie can be a form of self-expression. 


2. Themed Business:


The themed costume business is rising because of the growing popularity of costume parties, Halloween, and other events where people are encouraged to dress up in costumes. 


Themed costumes allow people to express their creativity and individuality, much like how Lingerie can be a form of self-expression.


In conclusion, starting a Lingerie Business in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding are crucial. 

It is crucial to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 

Following these steps, you can set your Lingerie Business up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

This Lingerie Brand Wants You To Love Yourself | My Shopify Business Story – YT Channel ‘Shopify’

Lively CEO is reshaping the $13B lingerie market – YT Channel ‘Fox Business’

A. You can source materials for your lingerie from suppliers that specialize in fabrics for lingerie production. Look for suppliers that offer high-quality and affordable options that meet your brand’s needs.

A. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, can be used to promote your lingerie business, share updates, engage with customers, and build a community. You can post about your services, special offers, customer testimonials, and share useful tips related to laundry care.

A. The target market for a lingerie business may vary depending on the brand’s unique offerings. Generally, the target market can include women of various ages, body types, and styles who value comfort, quality, and aesthetic appeal.

A. To make a lingerie brand unique, consider offering specific styles, fabrics, or designs that are not readily available in the market. You could also differentiate your brand by focusing on sustainability, inclusivity, or ethical production practices.

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