Summary of our market study

The European market for knitted and crocheted footwear, including socks, has witnessed stable growth, with the market value averaging €1.292 billion. Germany leads European production with a 40% share, followed by France at 16%, with the top five countries producing 72% of the total. France's market increased from €180.67 million to €209.09 million, showing a CAGR of 2.46%. French domestic consumption was around €712 million. France relies heavily on imports, primarily from Turkey, China, and Italy, to meet demand, reflecting a strong dependence and a trade deficit.

The number of French companies in the sector shrank from 43 in 2012 to 31, a 22-company decrease, and employment fell by 21%. The French market for socks shows moderate consumption, with an annual purchase of 7 new pairs of socks per individual compared to 17 for Italians, and an ownership of 17 pairs per French person. Comfort is the key purchasing criterion, and consumers show no strong preference for any specific sock brand. The escalation of e-commerce is evident as online ready-to-wear sales captured 19.5% of the budget among under-35s, compared to 10% among seniors, with overall turnover reaching approximately €3 billion.

Current regulations like REACH shape the market by regulating chemical use and protecting consumers, while the Hamon Law addresses e-commerce rules and product labeling obligations. The sock market today caters to a wide audience, becoming a fashion statement and diversifying with innovations such as Made In France and unique designs, despite a decline in physical store sales. Note that the data provided stops at 2018, and there is no mention of changes or events starting from 2020.

Main Trends and Dynamics in the Country's Sock Market

The sock market in the referenced country has been undergoing a considerable transformation, adapting to the changing fashion trends and consumer preferences. Conventionally a market focused primarily on the male demographic, it has progressively diversified to cater to the entire population. This evolution is reflective in the variety of socks now available - ranging in design, color, and material, marking the transition of socks into a statement of fashion rather than just a mundane apparel necessity. A noteworthy trend is the burgeoning popularity of Made In France socks, which underscores a consumer inclination towards products guaranteeing superior quality and local manufacture. This shift is emblematic of a larger demand for transparency and sustainability in apparel choices. Socks fashioned from natural materials like cotton, wool, and silk are particularly preferred, indicating an emphasis on quality and eco-friendliness over economy and mass production.

Ready-to-wear giants currently play a significant role in the market, with a handful of these conglomerates, such as Dim and Uniqlo, dominating the scene. However, the entry and growth of independent brands like Archiduchesse, Bleu Forêt, and Royalties, which promote Made In France products, showcase the fragmentation of the market and the potential for niche brands to carve out substantial market segments. In terms of consumer behavior, there's a nuanced pattern where sock purchases align closely with comfort, style, and durability. Colour preferences lean towards classical hues, with black and blue being the colors of choice for nearly half of the surveyed consumers. However, despite these specific preferences, brand loyalty appears to be relatively low, suggesting a market rich in opportunities for new entrants.

The growth dynamics of the domestic sock market are evidenced by the annual market size, which ranges from 180 to 210 million euros. Nonetheless, the consumption of socks per capita is modest in comparison to some European counterparts, with French individuals averaging between 5 to 9 new pairs annually and owning between 15 to 20 pairs of socks in total. This contrasts starkly with countries like Italy, where individuals purchase upwards of 15 pairs each year.

The online segment of the market has seen a particularly strong growth, especially among younger consumers, capturing a notable portion of the annual clothing budget. E-commerce has become a pivotal channel, with online sales of clothing items capturing 15% of the national clothing market. Brands like Kindy have taken cognizance of this trend and are actively pivoting to leverage online retail.

Lastly, the regulatory atmosphere in the country is tailored to ensure customer.

Diverse and Dynamic Contenders in the Sock Market Landscape

The vibrant sock market has seen a multitude of players, each bringing its unique flavors to the table, contributing to a tapestry of choices for consumers. While the market spans from budget-friendly mass-produced options to bespoke high-quality offerings, certain names stand out, painting a vivid picture of the competitive scene.

  • Dim: A household name in the realm of hosiery, Dim has established itself as a giant among clothing brands. With a longstanding reputation, it has been known to cater to a wide audience, offering a range of products that blend comfort with style.
  • Uniqlo: This global apparel retailer has steadily grown in popularity, and its entry into the sock market is met with the same practical and minimalist approach that characterizes its brand. Uniqlo’s offerings are a blend of affordability, quality, and timeless design.
  • Archiduchesse: As an exemplar of the Made In France movement, Archiduchesse showcases a commitment to local manufacturing of high-quality socks. This brand targets a niche audience that values the French touch in their sartorial selections.
  • Bleu Forêt: Positioned as an environmentally-conscious choice, Bleu Forêt prides itself on using natural fibers and production processes that respect the environment. Their products strike a balance between eco-friendly practices and the need for high-quality, durable socks.
  • Royalties: With its roots deeply embedded in the independent sector, Royalties is for those seeking a blend of craftsmanship and uniqueness. The brand garners attention from customers who view socks as a serious fashion statement, elevating an everyday item to the sphere of trendy accessories.
  • Kindy: Embracing the surge in e-commerce, Kindy has pivoted towards online sales with a strong focus on innovation in marketing strategies. By reimagining their approach to sales, Kindy is an example of an established brand adapting to the shifting landscapes of consumer behavior.

Each of these contenders in the sock market contributes to the variety and depth of options available, ensuring that from the basic, no-frills pairs to the environmentally-minded and fashion-forward selections, there is something for every foot in France. With a finger on the pulse of consumer preferences and a keen eye on the evolving market dynamics, these brands are well-positioned to keep stepping forward in the competitive world of knitted and crocheted footwear.

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  • Last update : 06/07/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market definition and presentation

Long mainly dedicated to men, the sock market has evolved enormously over the last few decades, and now targets the entire French population. We are witnessing new fashion trends that have made the sock a real fashion accessory [ Huffington Post ]

Thus, the offer on the market continues to grow and evolve to meet the new expectations of consumers. For example, we are witnessing the development of Made In France, which is becoming increasingly popular, or the significant increase in demand for so-called "fancy" socks, with ever more original designs

Many types of socks exist today, in different shapes, colours and materials used in their production

However, as the new generations are an increasingly important player in the demand for ready-to-wear clothing, in recent years there has been a decline in the sale of socks in "physical" points of sale, i.e. supermarkets and hypermarkets, which tends to slow down sales of traditional brands, in favour of those of start-ups with innovative sales strategies

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Value of knitted and crocheted footwear production
  • Breakdown of sales of knitted and crocheted footwear
  • Global Sock Market
  • Valeur de la production d'articles chaussants à maille
  • Commerce extérieur de la fabrication d'articles chaussants à maille
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Latest news

Le Slip Français, the daring bet of made in France - 09/11/2023
  • Le Slip Français was founded 12 years ago.
  • Le Slip Français has sales of 20 million euros.
  • On the French market, 3% of garments are made in France.
  • Le Slip Français achieves 40% of its sales during the Christmas period.
  • The company supports 300 jobs, 85 of them directly.
Dim brings back production of German Nur Die pantyhose | German production of Nur Die pantyhose back on track - 21/07/2023
  • Dim Brands International (DBI) pantyhose knitting production is grouped together in Autun
  • 20 to 30 million pairs of Dim tights are produced every year
  • In addition, 19 million pairs of the Nur Die brand are produced
  • DBI has 3,000 employees, including 1,000 in France.
  • DBI has three plants located in Autun, Slovakia and Romania.
  • Dim employs 600 staff and 100 temporary workers in Autun.
  • Dim was launched in 1953 and was sold to Hanesbrand in 2014, then to Regent at the end of 2021.
  • Group sales are €500 million, with the Dim brand accounting for 40% of sales.
  • Dim has launched a new range of menstrual panties, which account for 30% of French sales in this emerging market.
Montlimart, eco-friendly clothing and footwear brand for men - 15/05/2023
  • Montlimart sells eco-responsible men's clothing and footwear 80% made in France
  • The brand sold 16,000 pieces in 2022.
  • Montlimart achieved sales of one million euros in 2022.
  • 90% of Montlimart's sales are made via its website.
  • Montlimart has 7 employees.
Labonal dons Alsatian motifs from T'heim - 09/07/2022
  • T'heim is a brand launched a year ago to promote local clothing with Alsatian motifs.
  • Since June, T'heim designs have been featured on socks manufactured by Labonal in Dambach-la-Ville (Bas-Rhin).
  • T'heim, managed by Jérôme Seeholtz, outsources its production and works with subcontractors.
  • T'heim's T-shirts and sweatshirts are made in a social integration workshop in Strasbourg, and other partners are located in France.
  • Labonal, a sock manufacturer, achieved sales of 7 million euros in 2021 and produces 1.5 million pairs of socks.
  • Labonal employs 80 people.
Broussaud Textiles: rebirth made in France. - 21/05/2022
  • Year Broussaud Textiles went into liquidation: 2006
  • Workforce at time of liquidation: 70 employees
  • Sock production in 2022: 1.4 million pairs
  • Sales in 2022: 8 million euros
  • Target growth in 2023: 25%
  • Investment in robotization: 1.4 million euros
  • Year Textis, an import company, became a shareholder: 2014
  • Number of knitting machines: 80
  • Share of French customers: 95%
  • Market share of French sock manufacturers: 15 million pairs for a national market of 400 million
Hummel takes up the running challenge - 22/01/2020
  • Hummel takes over the majority of Performance Group Scandinavia's activities
  • Hummel acquires Danish brands Newline and Halo
  • Hummel A/S posted sales of 107 million euros in 2018
  • Hummel established subsidiaries in China, USA, India and key European countries

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. :

Fast retailing Group Unoqlo
DIM Brands international
Bleuforêt
La Coccinelle
Adèle
Manufacture Perrin Chaussettes
Le slip Français
Labonal
Maison Broussaud
Hummel
Cocorico
Ranna

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