It’s not a great time to be in the pantyhose business. It wasn’t long ago that they were a staple in a career woman’s wardrobe. Now, sheer hosiery faces an even a bigger snag — more than a decade of declining sales
Women just aren’t wearing as much sheer hosiery these days. Hanesbrands reported that sales are down nearly 70 percent since 1995. Hanesbrands Vice President Romaine Sargent said women have greater wardrobe options as the workplace has become more casual.
Shorts, Capri-style pants and even flip-slops are accepted in many offices.
Plus, many women say pantyhose is tight, uncomfortable and one little run can ruin your whole day.
Hanesbrands is the nation’s leading seller of women’s sheer hosiery, but the company has been straightforward with investors about the sag in sales. The company said it’s working on product innovations and is trying to take advantage of current fashion trends. But it admits there’s little it can do about the sales decline until fashion trends turn in its favor.
The company said women ages 25 to 54 wear pantyhose an average of 1.8 times a week. That’s down from three and a half times a week one decade ago.
Hosiery sales at Hanesbrands totaled $290 million in fiscal 2006. That’s 68 percent lower than the $895 million in sales the company did in fiscal 1995.