The expanding swimwear industry takes up a large percentage of women’s apparel for 2012
Swimwear is an ever-growing retail field, and as such, many new and promising companies are entering the picture and demanding attention. According to the NPD Group (a consumer analysis firm), Americans spent $3.1 billion on swimwear, which is in stark contrast to the $1.4 billion spent only five years ago. Bikinis and tankinis remain popular, and one-pieces are starting to return in style, with over 30% of swimwear purchases in 2010 belonging to that category. With this attention placed on swimwear, many companies are trying on their swimwear shoes and entering the retail pool.
Companies and brands like Onda De Mar, Salinas Bikinis, Betsey Johnson Swimwear and Hapari International LLC are offering new styles that are meant to be both fashionable and functional.
“It’s not just about swimwear, but swimwear dressing,” said Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of a boutique chain named Scoop. “We have ethnic-inspired tunics, sandals with shells, straw bags, printed skirts. People want that head-to-toe look for the beach as much as they want that head-to-toe look for the street.”
Because of this, the swimwear industry is growing and even replacing other aspects of women’s apparel.
“Swim is taking a share of the market from sportswear companies, and profits are going up accordingly,” said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at the NPD Group.
Of course, with this explosion of swimwear options, the age-old question remains.
Deborah Abraham, director of one of the largest swimwear manufacturers in the world, said “How can you make a woman look most flattering when her body is most exposed? That remains the crux."