Industry Case Study

Purchase Drivers for Socks


Some purchase drivers for socks in the world include the increasing importance of maintaining formal wear among white-collar professionals and the increasing cases of foot allergies and diseases.

Global Socks Market Size

  • The global socks market is valued at $41.13 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% to reach $42.82 billion by 2026. Below are some of the factors that are driving the purchase of socks.

Socks Purchase Drivers

  • According to multiple market reports, it is becoming increasingly important to maintain formal attire among white-collar professionals globally. This trend is expected to be an important factor in increasing the demand and utility of socks and boost market growth in the future.
  • As per Grandview Research, another factor driving the purchase of socks is the “increasing penetration of corporate offices in emerging economies including China, Bangladesh, India, and Mexico as a result of supportive policies to promote investments at a domestic level.”
  • In these countries, there is also increasing penetration of smartphone usage, forcing socks manufacturers to “launch their product variants at discounted prices, along with various value-added services including cash-on-delivery services.” This trend is likely to drive sales in the global socks market during the forecast period.
  • In the men’s category, there is a gradual acceptance of products such as patchy and studded products for use in men’s casual and business attire. There are also more social videos on YouTube and Google+, providing “advice for maintaining excellent grooming appearance.” This is expected to “promote spending on good quality shoe accessories such as socks.”
  • In the recent past, healthcare professionals are publishing research papers about preventing foot disorders among diabetic patients. In light of these findings, some companies like Dr. Oxyn and Podolite are selling customized diabetic socks “to reduce the risk of foot ulcers, which act as a root cause of infections, or possible amputation.” In addition, the increasing application of gel socks as diabetic socks is expected to drive the market growth and socks purchase over the next few years.
  • The demand for sports socks is also rising due to the increasing incidences of foot allergies and diseases.
  • The recent growth of the wellness market is also attributed as a reason for the growth of the gel socks market.
  • Another purchase driver contributing to the growth of the global socks market is the increasing number of e-commerce players globally. This helps consumers make product comparisons on different online platforms before buying.
  • According to Industry Probe, other factors driving the growth of the market are the rising population, the increasing number of women in the workforce, improved standards of living, newer fashion trends, and increasing disposable income.

Impact of COVID-19 on Socks Purchases

  • According to Harsh Saraf, Supersox’s Business Development Head, “COVID-19 has severely impacted the socks industry, as demand for the product has fallen drastically. With movement being restricted to a great extent, the socks sales have been impacted. But we are looking at it as a transitionary phase. The sales for the industry will pick up once consumers make outdoors their priority.”
  • During this holiday season, “sweatshirts, sweatpants, active bottoms, sleepwear, and socks” are expected to make up 31% of total spending on apparel in the United States. This is a 5% increase compared to Q4 2019. According to analysts, this is a seasonal trend that stems from consumers’ quest to be comfortable in uncomfortable times.

Core Seasonal Trends

  • While our extensive research through the public domain could not provide any information on the absence or presence of seasonal trends in the socks market during the past two years, we figured that some purchase factors such as changing weather patterns could be considered seasonal trends. This is because people may buy thicker and warmer pairs to keep them warm during Winter.
  • When it comes to buying socks, “seasonality also plays an important role for women, with sales of women’s athletic socks peaking in the spring and summer months, and casual socks during fall and winter.”
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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