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We've heard of the 'Lipstick Index'—the phenomenon in which lipstick sales go up as the economy goes down—but the WSJ's Heard on the Runway (HOTR) poses the 'Hosiery Index' might be the current indicator. While the NYT notes that lipstick "Sales in the last few months are up 40 percent," the HOTR contends "This year, however, retail sales of lipstick in the U.S. have moved in the same direction as the economy."
HOTR reports "Hosiery, on the other hand, has seen a rise in sales so far this year. U.S. sales of women’s hosiery rose 2.3% to reach $3.28 billion in the 12 months through September 30 compared with the same time period a year earlier..."
Cases in point: Barenecessities.com has seen "hosiery sales increase 60% in September and 70% in October, outpacing overall growth of the $48 million site," while at Spanx "strong sales of patterned styles have helped the label reach a 77% increase in sales of its tights from January through Oct. 31 compared with the same period a year ago."
Hosiery Association exec Sally Kay also cites "the continuing popularity of opaque tights, which have been prevalent on high-end fashion runways, as a significant reason for the increase."
· Lunchtime Snap: The New Hosiery Index? Sales Crept Up as Economy Went Down [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]