Hosiery suffered double-digit declines in both volume and current value terms in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic-induced lockdown and a greater focus on prioritising expenditure for more essential items during the year. Sheer hosiery recorded the more significant declines due to limited workplace activity, with many employees, including women, able to work remotely, reducing the need to purchase sheer tights to match more formal outfits.
Non-sheer hosiery recorded a marginally stronger performance compared to the sheer format, since socks, thicker cotton or wool tights, and leg warmers continued to be worn during the winter months. Nevertheless, demand for performance-related sports socks are likely to have struggled due to limited occasions to participate in outdoors sporting activities as a result of lockdown restrictions.
Hanesbrands Inc, which offers a wide range of brands including Bonds, Holeproof Explorer and Razzamatazz, strengthened its leadership of hosiery in 2020, in an otherwise fragmented competitive landscape, with no other single player holding double-digit value share. Despite declining demand for hosiery in 2020, a number of brands recorded positive value sales performances, including Lululemon Athletica supported by the athleisure trend, and Asos, supported by increasing demand through e-commerce.
Hosiery is predicted to experience a notable upturn in demand in 2021 before gradually returning to greater rates of normalisation over the course of the forecast period. However, despite a more positive outlook early on, overall volume sales will struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025, due to the significance of its declines in 2020.
Demand for non-sheer hosiery will continue to be driven by socks, the athleisure trend and a return to sporting activity and general fitness, resulting in demand for more functional specialised performance socks. The growth in sales of trainers and socks go hand-in-hand, with consumers seeking socks that complement their sports-inspired or sports footwear.
While major store-based retailers are likely to remain popular, since many Australians like to purchase hosiery from apparel and footwear specialist retailers, the lockdown saw a greater shift towards e-commerce. This trend is likely to continue into the forecast period, forcing brands and retailers to take a more omnichannel approach to sales, as consumers increasingly appreciate being able to choose from a wider range of products online at competitive prices.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Hosiery industry in Australia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Hosiery research and analysis database.
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