The Indian subsidiary of Sara Lee is looking to grow its presence in the Indian retail market.

Sara Lee Apparel (India) launched Hanes ComfortWear for Men in 2004, and distributes its products through an estimated 2,500 apparel and general merchandise retail stores. 

The company is looking to increase this network over the next 5 years to about 4,000 stores. The explosive growth of national department store chains, shopping centres and malls will also bolster the brand's growth in the country.

Total annual sales of men's innerwear in the Indian market are estimated to be US$570 million. The premium segment, which is targeted by international brands such as Hanes and Jockey as well as Indian brands, is estimated to be about US$130 million.

Last year Lee Chaden, chief executive officer of Sara Lee Branded Apparel, identified India as a key market for its future growth, as the North American and European markets slowed down. 

In time the company also expects to launch other brands such as Wonderbra, Playtex and Champion in India.