In 2020, the primary factor affecting hosiery sales was COVID-19, which drove consumers away from physical retail stores towards online channels. Although both sheer and non-sheer hosiery are fairly well suited to online retail, reduced visibility and opportunities for buying what is essentially regarded as an add-on product led to a substantial decline in current value sales, although this decline was less than that seen in other apparel categories such as jeans and womenswear.
Sheer hosiery was particularly hit by significant changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic, which saw workers avoid office environments and fewer social events and interactions in social contexts where sheer hosiery is used. Moreover, there was generally a reduced focus on ‘cosmetic’ apparel in 2020, as Swedes grappled with more pressing matters and incomes declined to some extent.
Low-cost apparel giant Lindex Sverige continued to lead hosiery and consolidate its position in 2020, thanks to the company's wide assortment of goods and its focus on staff expertise in underwear and hosiery. Lindex is also a well-known and trusted retailer, offering the second largest apparel and footwear brand in Sweden.
Hosiery consumption is primarily driven by necessity, long-term fashion trends and demographics, factors which will combine and lead to fairly stable growth patterns from 2021 onwards. Whereas non-sheer hosiery will recover rapidly and relatively strong growth rates in 2021 will compensate for the decline in value sales in 2020, sheer hosiery is expected to continue to suffer from low consumer interest in the short term, as a result of changes in consumer behaviour and consumption patterns.
Consolidation in hosiery, which is expected to have a significant impact on the rest of the apparel categories, is expected to have only marginal effects on the value growth and size of hosiery. Hosiery is commonly sold through general goods retailers and other channels which are not as affected by short-term trends within apparel.
As the health and wellness trend continues and deepens, many Swedes will remain active across the forecast period and therefore purchase socks for sporting activities, which will lead to stronger supply and demand for niche socks designed for wearing with sneakers, offering some scope for new product development and added value. These products sit slightly higher on the ankle and offer extra support for the heel.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Hosiery industry in Sweden with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Hosiery research and analysis database.
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