COLUMBIA CROSSES THE OCEAN: Outdoor apparel and footwear manufacturer Columbia Sportswear Co. has licensed Belluno, Italy-based Intersocks SpA to produce a line of men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor performance socks for the Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Russian markets.
The 21-year-old Intersocks specializes in performance and dress socks. The Columbia Sportswear branded line will include casual, ski, snowboard, hiking, trekking, outdoor and specialty sports socks.
The collection of socks will be available in stores for spring 2002.
“Intersocks is respected throughout the European sock industry for their dedication to quality and innovation,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia’s president and chief executive officer. “We are quite pleased to be joining forces with them as we expand our licensing program into Europe.”
INDUSTRY UPDATE: At the two industry update meetings last month, Sid Smith, THA’s president, told attendees that domestic production and shipments of hosiery for the first six months in 2000 were up by more than 3 percent.
Retail sales for the third quarter stayed even with the previous year at $3.4 billion, Smith said, but were up 1.5 percent in units sold.
Socks sales were up by 3.6 percent, but only 2.9 percent in units. Pantyhose purchases were up by 8.3 percent, but drooped 4 percent in units. Knee-highs fared strongly, gaining 7 percent overall and 3.5 percent in units.
Plans were announced for the 96th Annual Convention for the hosiery trade in Charleston, S.C., which will be held at the Embassy Suites April 25-28.
The events, sponsored by The Hosiery Association over a two-day period last month in Greensboro and Hickory, N.C., were designed to help hosiery manufacturers and suppliers understand their place in the global market.