Socks have become largely a commercialized commodity item, with the expansion of retail stores and department stores selling wide range of socks, including specialty ones. Rapid pace of urbanization is one of the key drivers for the evolution in the socks market. Rise in sales of athletic footwear has also spurred the demand for socks with special characteristics. Novelty socks have also caught on momentum from the growing penetration of these in general apparel store, apart from fashion stores. Increasing awareness about fashion among men is another key trend favoring new demand in the socks market. Women world over have also become conscious evaluating their purchases of socks based on fashion rather than just value.
Specialized Socks Emerge as Segment with Incredible Avenues in Socks Market
Growing consumers’ demand for new colors and patterns is a key trend in the socks market. A wide range of needs has spurred the demand for specialized socks, thereby opening new avenues in the socks market. A case in point is the rise in demand for socks that are apt for outdoor activities and gymming. A growing number of such consumers are willing to pay for the specialized apparel, thereby boosting the demand in the socks market.
In 2018 the global socks market was pegged at US$ 42.5 bn. During the forecast period of 2019 – 2027, the opportunity in the market is expected to rise at CAGR of 6.5%.
The growing focus on foot care is a key trend in the diabetic population. Specialty socks manufacturers are keen on tapping into revenue streams from this consumer segment. Physician-endorsed socks is another related category that is expected to do a substantial business. A great deal of this rests on two factors: rise in awareness about the availability on common distribution channels and the medical benefits they can bring to the end user. Celebrity endorsement has in recent years have been instrumental in raising the awareness among the common masses through social media and traditional electronic media.
Strides being made by e-commerce channels have endowed an incredible opportunity for several socks brands to promote their products, attracting prospective customers globally.
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Asia Pacific Witnessing Substantial Demand for Range of Socks
On the regional front, North America has been seeing a steady demand for various types of socks. Further, South America and GCC countries are expected to be increasingly lucrative market over the next few years.
A remarkably emerging market is Asia Pacific. It held the majority of shares in the global socks market. A large chunk of the demands come from India and China. Rise in demand for specialized socks in Singapore is another key factor propelling revenue generation in the regional market. Of all the key product varieties, specialty has come as a second in the global market’s share in 2018. Specialty socks are considered an untapped segment by many brands in the socks market. This is mainly because customers with specialized needs are growing, such as individuals looking for socks to help them regain mobility after a surgery. Diabetic care socks are another fast emerging product category with vast opportunities.
Incorporation of Novel Composite Materials Boost Prospects
Nylon is by far the most popular material used by socks manufacturers. In recent years, new hybrid materials are seeing prospects in the market. Breathable socks made for hybrid material are a case in point. Manufacturers are aiming at adopting materials that have strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal characteristics. Among various new hybrid materials being pursued by manufacturers, Kevlar merits a mention.
Some of the key players in the socks market are Puma S.E., Nike Inc., and Adidas A.G., Armour, Inc., Hanesbrands Inc., Drymax Technologies Inc., Balega, Thorlo Inc., Asics Corporation, and Renfro Corporation.
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