Intimate apparel continues to be among the list of pandemic winners.
That’s because many of the work-from-home wardrobe essentials can be found in the innerwear world. Bras, underwear and socks are also items consumers need to restock, even amid lockdown.
Intimates and apparel manufacturer Delta Galil is just one of many firms to benefit as a result.
The Tel Aviv-based company — which counts Seven For All Mankind, Splendid, Schiesser, Eminence, Delta, P.J. Salvage, Karen Neuburger, Nearly Nude and Fix among its brands — increased its quarterly profits by 39 percent, or $19.5 million, compared with $14 million a year ago. Overall, however, sales fell 14 percent due to store closures and other impacts from the coronavirus, falling to $382.9 million in the quarter versus $446.1 million a year earlier.
“The fact that our sales were down, while our profit rose and debt fell, indicates the strength of the product categories that we focus on,” said Isaac Dabah, chief executive officer of Delta Galil. He added that about 87 percent of the business is in men’s basics, women’s intimates and socks.
“In fact, sports socks did very well in the quarter and we think that trend will continue since so few people are wearing dress socks right now,” Dabah said.
Other basics categories, such as bras and underwear, also continued to perform well during the quarter. But Delta Galil isn’t done capitalizing off of the current pandemic fashion needs.
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In August, Delta Galil agreed to buy lingerie and swimwear e-tailer Brand Necessities for an undisclosed amount. The platform sells more than 160 brands across the intimates, lingerie, swimwear, shapewear and sleepwear categories, names like Spanx, Wacoal, Calvin Klein and Chantelle.
The firm has also increased investments in Brayola, the New York City-based online bra business, which Delta Galil acquired earlier this year for more than $1 million. And Delta Galil is expanding The Bogart Group’s product assortment, the lingerie, swimwear and activewear manufacturer that Delta Galil acquired in July 2019.
Delta Galil isn’t the only company profiting from the need for intimates. Examples of this can be found throughout the retail industry.
Earlier this month intimates brand Knix hosted a fall virtual warehouse sale in place of its usual Black Friday event, selling more than $1 million worth of products in the first 15 minutes, including more than 85,000 pairs of underwear.
Target ceo Brian Cornell said apparel has been a bright spot in recent quarters, with intimates being one of the strongest performers. The big-box retailer has even added new offerings, such as luxury lingerie brand Journelle, to the selection. Bras and underwear also fared well for Victoria’s Secret’s sister brand Pink during the most recent quarter. Even indie underwear brands, like British-based Stripe & Stare, which recently launched at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, have had record sales in the last year. Stripe & Stares’ revenues rose 1000 percent in November, year-over-year.
“We don’t need to replace a lot of our apparel right now. We’re not going to work,” said Kristen Classi-Zummo, director of apparel market insights at market research firm the NPD Group. “But, we still need basics. We still need intimates; we still need underwear. All of that is kind of affecting the apparel spend.”
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