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NPD: Sheer Hosiery Back in Fashion With Millennials

Sheer hosiery hasn’t been so much sought after among the younger crowd, but new research suggests the legwear might be making a comeback with Millennials.

Sheer hosiery, tights and socks make up he U.S. hosiery market and he sector grew 3 percent in the year ended May 2015, and Millennials were the age group that experienced the most growth, according to The NPD Group.

Tights and socks have seen steady growth of late, but now Millennials account for 27 percent of the $482 million sheer hosiery market, which has struggled until recently.

“Millennials are changing the game for hosiery, just as they are in categories throughout retail, but they are also playing by different rules,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group.

The younger customer is more likely to buy hosiery from mass merchants and those 35 and up tend to purchase from department stores—but the off-price and e-commerce segments brought in the lion’s share of sales growth in the year to May.

Consumers are buying 1.4 hosiery items per purchase, on average, and Millennials are more likely to take home a pair of socks with their sheer hosiery than non-Millennials.

“Traditional thinking and marketing approaches don’t apply to this consumer segment – it’s about being different, and marketers need to follow suit, even in a category with a strong heritage,” Cohen said.