Petite-British bra brand set for boost as it targets Chinese market

A British underwear brand, which caters for women with smaller breasts, is set to explore the blossoming Chinese market next month, where the average bra size is three sizes smaller than in the UK.

Nottingham-based Little Women is taking its own-brand bra range, which goes from AAA up to a B, on an independent British trade mission to China and Hong Kong– where the average size is 34B, compared to an average of 36DD here in the UK.

Little Women’s average own-brand bra costs £28.75 but the range offered on the site can go up to £66. At the moment 85% of its sales are in the UK, 13% in North America and just two per cent to the rest of the world.

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Little Women owner, Caroline Jackson said: “We cater for quite a niche market, selling globally, but to have the opportunity to export to China and the rest of South East Asia in a structured fashion as opposed to in an organic way as per at present, will be a phenomenal boost for us.

“Women there are petite in stature and are often smaller all over, compared to women here.  If the average bra size in China is 34B, I know from experience that there will be a very large percentage under that.”

According to research, China’s underwear market is worth more than £16 billion and 60% of it is dominated by foreign brands. Chinese women spend around 10% of their income on lingerie.

High–end British brand Agent Provocateur recently opened four shops in China, two in Beijing, one in Shanghai and one in Chengdu. It reported sales were 25% ahead of expectations.

Caroline is set to jet off with 20 British brands next month as part of a subsidised trip which is aimed at offering small firms the kind of export opportunities to small firms that are usually only available to bigger, more established companies.

The mission to China and Hong Kong, is being run by small business support group Enterprise Nation, and is being supported by private sector sponsors including global delivery firm UPS, HSBC, KPMG, Invest HK, Alibaba, Gatwick Airport and international airline Cathay Pacific.

Caroline will be joined by a British wallpaper manufacturer called Paperboy, and a Brighton-based jewellery design firm that currently sells on Not on the High Street, amongst others including British tech manufacturing platform Utelier and Wigan-based logistics company 3P Logistics.

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