DTC sock brand Bombas expands into underwear


PUBLISHED Jan. 21, 2021 Retail dive


Dive Brief:

  • As the pandemic pushes e-commerce to new heights, DTC sock brand Bombas announced its launch into underwear. The brand offers both men's and women's styles in cotton modal and additional styles for women in seamless, the company said in an email last week.

  • Men's and women's will both be available in three different silhouettes, with 14 separate colors available for women and four colors for men. Women's sizing will run from extra small to 2X, while men's will run from small to 3XL.

  • The collection is made from moisture-wicking fabrics, including the company's beechwood-based modal fabric, has no tags and reduced seaming, and also includes soft leg openings and waistband elasticity to improve fit. Prices range from $18 to $28 per pair.

Dive Insight: While the pandemic has caused widespread disruption throughout retail, it's also been responsible for a surge in e-commerce sales as consumers opt to stay home. That's allowed DTC brands like Bombas to capitalize on their online positioning to push further growth. The company, made popular for its socks, now sells a suite of basics products, including T-shirts and its most recent launch: underwear. As with its other products, Bombas will donate a pair of underwear to the homeless for every pair purchased, a core part of the brand's mission. The company noted that it now provides the homeless community with the three "most crucial clothing items." The entry into underwear is a natural extension from socks, and puts the DTC brand into a category in which large players are losing market share. The intimates business as a whole has been through a series of disruptions, prompting the rise of bra brands like Lively, ThirdLove and Adore Me to combat the traditional heavyweights. Many of the new entrants are focused on comfort and fit, essentially the antithesis of the Victoria's Secret's of the world, which emphasized a sexy view of underwear while competitors like Aerie touted inclusive sizing and unaltered images. Victoria's Secret has continued to be a burden on parent company L Brands, causing the company to shutter 250 stores in that banner last year. In expanding into adjacent categories, Bombas is following the well-trodden path of many other DTC brands in the retail space. Thanks to the surge in e-commerce brought by the pandemic, this year alone has seen a few expansions from well-known DTC brands, including Allbirds, which launched into apparel in October after raising $100 million a month prior, and period brand Thinx, which expanded into the activewear space last week.

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