With the presence of global players, such as Nike Inc., Adidas Group, Puma, and Converse that coexist with small players, the worldwide market for socks features a highly competitive landscape, notes a recent study by Transparency Market Research. Due to the low entry barriers and low manufacturing cost, the threat of new entrants is also considerably high in the marketplace. However, a high degree of partnerships and coexistence has been witnessed in the global socks market. For example, Thai Socks Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of socks in Asia has a supply deal with large players such as Nike Inc., Paul Smith, and Converse.
The global socks market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2015 and 2021 to increase from US$5.6 bn in 2014 to US$11.6 bn by 2023.
Athletic Product Segment to Overshadow other Product Segments
By product, athletic socks account for the largest share in the global socks market. The diverse applications of athletic socks is the primary factor for the large market share of this product segment. Although athletic socks are mainly used for sports and gym activities, they are also used with informal footwear for casual wear. Trouser socks are used by both men and women for formal wear.
In terms of material, cotton currently accounts for almost one-third of the overall market holding the largest share in this market. However, the increasing competition from man-made fibers such as polyester and cotton is expected to negatively impact the market share of cotton. In particular, the demand for synthetic socks is high in developing countries due to their low moisture-holding capacity and low cost. However, the demand for natural fiber socks is considerably high in developed countries such as the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany.
In 2014, the men’s segment led the global socks market. Almost 71% of men use socks every day. The extensive use of socks by men and changing fashion statements are driving the growth of the men’s segment in the global socks market.
Changing Fashion Trends and Rising Disposable Income Favors Market Growth
The rapid expansion of retail networks in developing countries primarily China, India, and Brazil is driving the global socks market. Furthermore, increasing population base combined with increasing disposable income in these countries is driving sales of socks of varied types. In 2015, Asia Pacific dominated the socks market and is expected to retain its dominant position until the end of the forecast period in 2023. In this region, thriving e-commerce sales combined with penetration of the organized sector in emerging economies is contributing to the growth of the global socks market.
However, Europe is expected to lose considerable share in the global socks market. In this region economic slowdown combined with declining disposable income is expected to impact the overall apparel industry. North America socks market is expected to progress steadily, whereas developing countries such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia will propel the growth of the Rest of the World region socks market.
The socks market is thriving in comparison to the apparel industry. Although socks are commodity items, the advent of luxury socks has transformed them into fashion pieces. The introduction of various types of socks for varied needs and commercialization of these products is bolstering the growth of the socks market. Moreover, improving retail networks especially in Latin America and Asia Pacific is expected to drive the demand for high-end socks.
The review presented here is based on the findings of a Transparency Market Research report, titled “Socks Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023.”
The global socks market has been segmented as follows:
Global Socks Market: By Products
Global Socks Market: By Materials Used
Global Socks Market: By Gender
Global Socks Market: By Geography
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