NATIONAL HOSIERY WEEK PLANNED AT RETAIL FOR FALL

Byline: Marilyn Nason

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Come September, women's hosiery retailers around the country are due for a highly visible boost in in-store promotions from a coalition of hosiery makers and their suppliers.
Quietly in the planning stages for over a year, this retail-oriented campaign under the banner of National Hosiery Week, has been developed by the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, headquartered here, with the support of some 20 mills and suppliers, who in all are contributing $500,000 to the program.
Scheduled for Sept. 11-17, National Hosiery Week is aimed at educating consumers about women's hosiery options, including how to use and coordinate all categories of women's hosiery, and the fostering of realistic expectations for each category. It looks to increase awareness of hosiery as an accessories part of every woman's wardrobe.
While each mill and supplier will develop specific programs to meet its own retailers' needs, the overall goal of National Hosiery Week is designed to "reinvigorate national retail promotions of women's hosiery" while creating a total focus on all categories of hosiery available "to today's American women regardless of their lifestyle," according to Sid Smith, NAHM president and chief executive officer.
He said the week of Sept. 11-17 was selected to coincide with the introduction of the fall-winter lines at retail, giving the industry the opportunity to play up new colors, patterns and textures.
The New York office of St. Louis-based Fleishman Hillard Inc. is the public relations agency for the event and has prepared a consumer educational booklet to be distributed by participating hosiery manufacturers and suppliers to retailers for point-of-sale distribution. During September, the agency will also announce results of a national survey of 1,500 retailers and consumers relating to myths and facts about women's hosiery.
Public relations will also involve a national media outreach campaign covering consumer print, radio and TV. NAHM spokesperson Lauren Hutton is expected to participate in some aspects of the campaign, although her actual role has not yet been determined. A logo for National Hosiery Week at retail is presently being created.
Smith also noted the major mills and suppliers participating in National Hosiery Week are in the process of developing individual POS materials, co-op ad and public relation campaigns and other programs.
"Key to this whole campaign is the fact that all these mills and suppliers are working cooperatively to create a generic over-the-counter program for retailers relating to all types of women's hosiery," Smith said.
Bill Brown, communications manager/DuPont Nylon, DuPont, heads the steering committee of major mills and suppliers contributing $500,000 to the National Hosiery Week campaign.
Contributors include DuPont and Sara Lee Corp., each giving at least $75,000; Kayser-Roth and Unifi, $35,000 to less than $75,000; Acme-McCrary, Glen Raven, Globe, Ithaca, Bayer, Americal, NAHM and Nylstar Inc., $15,000 to less than $35,000.
Others at lower levels of contribution include Willis Hosiery, Spanco, Alba-Waldensian, Brown Wooten, Regal Manufacturing, Ridgeview, Pennaco Hosiery, Roane Hosiery and Holt Hosiery Mills.
As a historic note, National Hosiery Week is not a new name. In use since 1951, it started out as a promotion geared to stores, according to the NAHM, but over the years it became a series of events, such as outings, geared to local communities to celebrate the contributions by hosiery mills and their employees. These events, promoted by the NAHM in conjunction with the Catawba Valley Hosiery Association, now have officially adopted the name Celebrate Hosiery, and this year the activities will take place Aug. 7-13.

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