& Abbreviations


The hosiery market saw its fortune change significantly during the late 1990s following the new casual dress code that swept the country for both business and formalwear. Pants and bare legs, as well as sandals and capri pants, became acceptable in the office. Also innovation within the clothing market adversely affected hosiery as new Lycra technology increased fiber strength in even the finest hosiery denier, making the necessity to replace hose less frequently. The actions of retailers have also had a negative impact on the market. Retailers, reacting to depressed sales, responded by cutting back shelf and hanging space allotted to these products.

A slowdown in the decline of the market occurred in 2001 through new hosiery product introductions (like moisturizing hosiery, leg- or toeless hosiery and low rise hosiery to be worn under popular low rise jeans) and fashion awareness among consumers. Manufacturers have begun courting plus-size and minority customers with new sizes and hues, as well as offering more advanced shaping products for those looking to smooth their bodies into new body hugging fashions. Many retailers have not responded as quickly to these new developments and a great number of consumers are not as aware of these new developments as manufacturers would like.

This Mintel report explores the following hypothesis: "Although a possible return to classic dressing may temporarily spur hosiery sales, sheer hosiery is losing its status as a wardrobe basic. In the next five years (2003-2007) sales will most likely continue to decline but at a slower rate. Hosiery sales are, and will continue to be, sustained by new product introductions and line extensions."


A number of U.S. consumer intelligence reports covering other related sectors have been published, planned or are in preparation, including:

· Nail Color and Care, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, December 2002

· Hair Styling Products, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, October 2002

· Body Care, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, July 2002

· Women's Fragrances, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, March 2002

· Facial Skincare, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, March 2002

· Hair Styling Appliances, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, March 2002

· Jeans, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, February 2002

· Makeup, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, October 2001

· Women's Magazines, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, May 2001

· Children's Clothing, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, April 2001

· Athletic Footwear, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, April 2001

· Fitness Clothing, consumer intelligence-U.S. Report, March 2001.

In addition, Mintel has published a number of Reports on the U.K. market that may be of interest:

· Men's Shirts, Market Intelligence-U.K. Report, November 2001

· Menswear Designer Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, September 2001

· Jeans, Market Intelligence-U.K. Report, April 2001

· Womenswear Discount Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, April 2001

· Footwear Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, February 2001

· Clothing etailing, Internet Series-U.K. Report, January 2001

· Men's Outerwear, Market Intelligence-U.K. Report, January 2001

· Childrenswear Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, December 2000

· Womenswear Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, August 2000

· Women's Outerwear, Market Intelligence-U.K. Report, July 2000

· Schoolwear, Market Intelligence-U.K. Report, May 2000

· Menswear Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, August 2002

· Babywear Retailing, Retail Intelligence-U.K. Report, March 2000

· The UK Clothing Market, Special-U.K. Report, March 2000.


This report covers knitted hosiery, typically designed for use by women, and includes discussion of sheer, opaque and compression, pantyhose, tights and trouser socks.

This report excludes discussion of socks.



There follows a list of abbreviations used in this report.

CPI Consumer Price Index
FDM Food, drug and mass merchandiser
ICR International Communications Research
IRI Information Resources Inc.
NCS National Consumer Survey (Simmons)
SKU Stock keeping unit
SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences


The following terms are also used in the report:

Compression hose Hosiery that offers strong, elastic support
Co-op advertising A system where the retailer and wholesaler split advertising costs
Denier Thickness of yarn which dictates the sheerness of hosiery
Fashion basic A clothing item considered a necessity for every wardrobe
Mark-up The difference between cost and retail
Planograms A grid created mathematically to allot space and layout for product in a retail setting
Shapers/toner Hosiery that provides longer line control than normal control top


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