Summary of our market study

The men's underwear market, which sits within the broader apparel industry, is experiencing growth with an increasing emphasis on comfort, practicality, and a rising element of seduction in purchase motivation. While typically distributed in supermarkets and hypermarkets, online sales have gained relevance. Though no specific numerical data was provided, it is noted that men are spending more on underwear and are becoming more fashion-conscious, mirroring the buying patterns of younger consumers and converging with women's spending on similar products. Leading lingerie brands are responding by expanding their offerings to men, and new niche brands are emerging in the market. There is a trend shift in Portugal, where traditionally fashion-indifferent men are now placing greater importance on personal appearance, influencing a move away from purchasing at supermarkets and hypermarkets towards specialized clothing retailers and internet platforms starting from the year 2020.

Trends in the Men's Underwear Market in Portugal: Evolving Consumer Preferences and Retail Shifts

In Portugal, the men's underwear market is a growing segment within the broader clothing industry, reflecting a shift in attitudes towards personal appearance and fashion among men. Traditionally viewed as functional and basic, men's undergarments like underwear, boxers, and briefs are now being chosen with greater care, with aesthetic appeal starting to play a more significant role in purchasing decisions. This market has been primarily served by supermarkets and hypermarkets offering multi-pack options, providing convenience and value for money. However, recent consumer behavior indicates a change in purchasing patterns. There is a clear trend towards an increased interest in fashion and personal grooming among Portuguese men, aligning with global tendencies. As a result, the demographics of the market are worth noting. While older consumers typically show a preference for briefs, younger generations are not only paying closer attention to their outward appearance but are also exhibiting spending habits on par with women's averages in lingerie. The "seduction" aspect, once a secondary consideration, has become an increasingly influential factor in the men's lingerie realm. This has given an impetus to the underwear market, with international women's lingerie brands extending their product lines to cater to men and the emergence of new brands with niche offerings. As men become more discerning and fashion-conscious, traditional retail channels like supermarkets and hypermarkets have seen a decline in their market share for men's lingerie. Conversely, specialized clothing retailers and online retail platforms are gaining momentum, benefiting from the evolving mentality towards men's fashion and the desire for higher quality items that reflect personal style and comfort. The burgeoning online sales channel reflects the digital shift in the retail landscape, with an increasing number of consumers eschewing physical stores for the convenience of e-commerce. It is not only about comfort and practicality anymore; the men's underwear market in Portugal is now hallmarked by a diverse and increasingly sophisticated demand, with buyers willing to spend more for perceived value in design, brand, and fabric quality. This is reflective of broader shifts in consumer habits and preferences, leading to a more competitive market structure that is constantly adapting to meet these new demands.

Main Players in the Evolving Men's Underwear Market

In the dynamic and growing market of men's underwear, several prominent players have established themselves as leaders in catering to the varying needs of the modern consumer. These companies are not only creating products that center on comfort and practicality but are also focusing on the elements of style and seduction that have become increasingly important to buyers. As the landscape of this segment continues to shift, the following brands have positioned themselves at the forefront, effectively tapping into the changing preferences among different age groups and capitalizing on the trend of men taking greater interest in personal fashion and grooming.

  • Calvin Klein : An icon in the underwear market, Calvin Klein has long been synonymous with style and comfort. Known for its signature briefs and boxers, the brand combines simplistic elegance with modern designs that appeal to a broad demographic. With a strong presence both in traditional retail and online, Calvin Klein has skillfully navigated the transition towards a market where men are more conscious of their clothing choices, including their underwear.
  • Hanes : Counted among the most familiar names in undergarments, Hanes offers a wide range of men's underwear, including boxers, briefs, and boxer briefs. The company has stayed relevant by adapting to consumer demands, such as incorporating advanced fabric technologies for enhanced comfort and launching eco-friendly product lines that appeal to environmentally-conscious consumers.
  • Fruit of the Loom : As a brand that values comfort and affordability, Fruit of the Loom has managed to maintain a solid consumer base by offering reliable basics. The brand caters to men who prioritize practicality without compromising on quality, offering a variety of fits and styles that suit the everyday needs of a diverse customer base.
  • Emporio Armani : Bringing a touch of luxury to the world of men's underwear, Emporio Armani appeals to those who view undergarments as a fashion statement. With a range that often features the brand's iconic logo, their products are designed for men who are willing to invest more in high-quality materials and sophisticated design.
  • Victoria's Secret's Men's Line : In response to the growing men's underwear market, brands traditionally focused on women's lingerie, such as Victoria's Secret, have ventured into men's offerings. By leveraging their expertise in fit, fabric, and design, Victoria's Secret's men's line aims to capture the segment of the market that prioritizes both comfort and allure in their underwear choices.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition

The underwear market is a sub-segment of the broader clothing market, and is distinguished into men's and women's underwear. Men's lingerie covers several product categories, including mainly:

  • Boxers
  • Slips
  • Thongs

Men's lingerie is mainly distributed in large and medium-sized stores, in the form of lots, although the growth of online sales is also relevant. Like the global lingerie market, the men's lingerie segment is growing. The supply of men's underwear is expanding and men are spending an increasing amount of money on underwear.

Although the main purchase drivers are comfort and practicality, the "seduction" aspect is becoming increasingly important in motivating the purchase of men's lingerie.

The segment is dynamic: the main women's lingerie brands are also expanding their offerings for men and new brands dedicated to men's lingerie are emerging, often with niche positioning. The Portuguese men's underwear market grew at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.6% during the period 2015-2019.

Traditionally, Portuguese men were less interested in fashion and shopping than women. They used to buy only the bare minimum. Nowadays, this mentality is changing and men are paying more and more attention to their appearance and choice of clothing (including underwear). In addition, many Portuguese men are still quite conservative when it comes to their clothing, buying many items in supermarkets and hypermarkets. However, with an increasing number of men paying attention to their personal appearance, supermarkets and hypermarkets are losing ground to specialized clothing retailers and internet retailing.

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Latest news

Oniverse (formerly Calzedonia), revenues at 3.1 billion, strong push on foreign retail - 29/02/2024
  • Total revenues: 3.1 billion euros.
  • Revenue increase from 2022: +2% at current exchange rates.
  • Share of foreign sales: 62% of total.
  • Number of stores at year-end: 5,644.
    • New openings during the year: 314 stores (+6%).
    • Number of stores in Italy: 1,912.
    • Number of stores abroad: 3,732.
  • Countries with most new openings: the United States, France, Spain and Brazil.
  • Total investment: 563 million euros (openings, technology, logistics, ESG).
  • Future initiatives for 2024: development of Intimissimi Uomo and redevelopment of existing Calzedonia, Intimissimi and Tezenis stores.
Oniverse (formerly Calzedonia) invests in omnichannelity: Digital Hub It kicks off in Naples - 31/01/2024
  • **Oniverse Goal**: Respond faster to the needs of dynamic and ever-changing markets by ensuring scalability and reliability of omnichannel platforms.
  • **Launch Digital Hub IT**: Starting in March this year, dedicated to the development and management of technologies related to the Salesforce world and beyond, located in the Maritime Station in Naples.
  • **Induction program for new resources**: Training path supported by experts from the Federico II University of Naples and K2 Partnering Solutions to deepen knowledge about Salesforce in the first three months.
  • **Contribution of new resources**: Upon completion of the training, they will contribute to the development of Oniverse's omnichannel roadmap.
  • **Organized visits**: At headquarters in Verona and other national and international specialization hubs.
  • **Oniverse brands**: Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Intimissimi Uomo, Tezenis, Falconeri, Signorvino, Atelier Emé, Antonio Marras, Cantiere del Pardo, Grand Soleil Yachts, Pardo Yachts, and Van Dutch Yachts.
Host and Primark: The nightmare continues for H&M, overtaken by Shein - 15/12/2023
  • H&M posted annual sales up 6% to 21 billion euros
  • Spanish brand Zara saw an 11% increase in sales for the first nine months of the year, representing 25.6 billion euros and a profit in excess of 4 billion euros.
  • British brand Primark achieved sales in excess of 23 billion euros at the end of its September trading year.
  • Chinese online retailer Shein is targeting sales of €40 billion this year, while its rival Temu is aiming for €33 billion.
  • H&M reduced the number of its stores and cut 1,500 jobs last year as part of a rescue plan.
Ralph Lauren and luxury. - 05/05/2023
  • The Ralph Lauren Group is targeting sales of $8 billion in 2023, $2 billion more than the previous year.
  • Prices for Ralph Lauren products have risen by an average of 64% since 2017.
  • Online sales now account for a quarter of the brand's sales.
  • Ralph Lauren has 504 stores, including 289 in North America.
  • Direct sales account for 63% of Ralph Lauren's sales.
  • Ralph Lauren plans to open 250 stores by 2025, mainly in Europe and China.
  • Ambition is to be the world's leading luxury lifestyle company
Textiles: H&M emerges weakened from a nightmare year - 29/01/2023
  • 4.400 points of sale by 2022
  • Net income down 68% by 2022
  • H&M faces competition from China's Shein
  • The chain had to close 185 stores in Russia
H&M: better than expected results in Q2 - 29/06/2022

Second-quarter net income up 33% to SEK 3.7 billion (approx. 345 million euros)

Second-quarter sales: up 17%, 54.5 billion kronor (7.3 billion euros)

Analyst forecasts (according to Factset): sales of approx. 52 billion kronor, profit of 3.0 billion

Group share price on June 29: up approx. 3.7% to 126.34 crowns

Total number of stores at end May: 4,702, down 272 year-on-year

Net store closures planned for 2022: 178 (previously 140)

Expansion planned in South America with two online stores in Colombia and Peru

Suspension of sales in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia: 181 stores affected

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

H&M Groupe
Ralph Lauren
Calzedonia Oniverse

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