Men's underwear sales show bulge in the economy
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Men's underwear sales show bulge in the economy

April 23, 2013

Source: MAIN ST.

An uptick in men’s underwear sales bodes well for the economy at large—given the suggestion that men have enough disposable income to buy an item they don’t often update. Though 2012 men’s apparel sales rose a meager 1% to $57 billion, underwear sales shot up 13%, according to NPD group. Even former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan has used this economic indicator to take the temperature of the economy.

“Around the recession in 2008, things were more basic oriented, not fashion oriented,” said Michael Kleinmann, editor-in-chief of The Underwear Expert. “Underwear was more multi-pack-oriented, more about value items.”

From August 2007 to August 2008, underwear sales fell 27% at online retailers, 8% at department stores, and 6% at national retail chains, according to DNR. Sales at discount retailers increased 8% over the same period in an indication that men were penny-pinching on their briefs. A May 2008 Kelton Research survey of 1,001 adults found that 26% of respondents wear underwear that is five or more years old, with 11% wearing underwear that is 10 or more years old. These are inevitably the jankity boxers, those that have lost their elasticity or no longer fit.


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