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The $13 Billion US Women’s Underwear Industry: Disruption Creates Opportunity

Executive Summary

In this report, we analyze the US women’s underwear market. 

  • The $13.1 billion US women’s underwear market is in a state of change. Over the past five years, the top five US women’s brands have lost market share, falling from a combined total of 51.6% in 2013 to 41.2% in 2018. 
  • Victoria’s Secret, the top women’s intimates’ retailer in the US, has lost market share since 2013, when it held 31.7% of the market; in 2018, its share of the market was down to 24.0%.
  • Market forces are reshaping the US intimates’ industry landscape, with an increasing number of entrants to the category over the past 10 years. Emphasis on body positivity and inclusivity are spurring change, particularly in the evolving definition of sexy. Styles are changing to focus on fit and comfort with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology. 
  • In terms of market share, digitally native brands are the most significant challengers to traditional US women’s underwear brands. The category that includes these and other small brands grew from 28.1% of the market in 2013 to 36.2% of the market in 2018, according to Euromonitor International.  
  • Athletic retailers including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Lululemon, and Champion have increased market share in the women’s underwear market from 2013 to 2018. According to NPD, one-third of the “bra dollars” spent by millennials in 2018 were for sports bras. 

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