Robes and Dressing Gowns

SIC 2384

Industry report:

Establishments in this industry are primarily engaged in manufacturing men's, boys', and women's robes and dressing gowns from purchased materials and fabrics. This classification includes the manufacturing of bathrobes, caftans, housecoats, dusters, lounging robes, and men's smoking jackets. Companies primarily engaged in manufacturing girls', children's, and infants' robes from purchased fabrics are classified in SIC 2369: Girls', Children's, and Infants' Outerwear, Not Elsewhere Classified. Knitting mills that manufacture robes and dressing gowns are classified in SIC 2253: Knit Outerwear Mills.

In 2007, shipments of men's, junior boys', and little boys' underwear and nightwear totaled $56.9 million, half the $112 million of 2005 and drastically less than the $246 million in 2002. Shipments of women's, misses', juniors', and girls' loungewear and nightwear, on the other hand, totaled $628.5 million, down from $1.4 billion in 2005 and $1.9 billion in 2002. Both sectors saw significant sales declines in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s due to weak economic conditions in the United States, as well as increased imports from countries such as China, which joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001. As a result, import values for underwear, loungewear, and nightwear from China continued to increase through the 2000s.

Sales for this industry had begun their decline in the late 1990s. Shipments of men's, junior boys', and little boys' robes, which totaled $59.9 million in 1997, plummeted to $32.8 million in 1999. Shipments dropped by another $10.5 million in 2000, by more than half their value the next year, and down to $2.8 million in 2004. Shipments of women's, misses', juniors', and girls' robes and dressing gowns went from $156.3 million in 2000 to $112.6 million in 2001. Accordingly, employment figures dropped as well, from 13,606 employees with an annual payroll of $313 million in 2001 to 8,241 employees earning about $282 million in pay in 2004.

Industry leaders for this category in the 2000s included Lillian Vernon of White Plains, New York, with sales of $228 million and 1,150 employees in 2005. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in early 2008 and was acquired by Current USA later that year. In 2008, Frederick's of Hollywood and Movie Star merged to become Frederick's of Hollywood Group Co. in New York City. Other important players in the industry were NAP Inc. of New York, with annual sales of $90 million in the mid-2000s; Host Apparel, which was acquired by Sara Lee Corp. in 2001; Russell-Newman Inc. of Denton, Texas, which acquired two other sleepwear companies--Karen Neuburger and St. Eve--in 2008; and Beth Hanna Inc. (formerly Leading Lady Companies Inc.) of Brooklyn, New York.

In the late 1990s, imported robes and loungewear competed for the domestic manufacturers' department store market share, and some department stores had begun to contract with foreign mills to issue their own insignia bathrobes. In one instance in early 1997, this cost the Neiman Marcus Group almost $2 million in sales when 6,500 terry-cloth bathrobes were recalled at the request of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission when the garments failed flammability tests, igniting upon exposure to flame.

Large leisurewear manufacturers also began expanding to include robes and loungewear for men and women, providing additional market competition for the dedicated robe and dressing gown manufacturers in the United States. Famous athletic name-brand robes matching their shoes became available in large department store chains, as well as specialty shops for lingerie, sporting goods, and mail-order catalogs. Sports and leisure apparel outside this primary category enjoyed a significant increase in sales throughout the 1990s due to diversification. Robe manufacturers experienced increased business from hotel chain orders, particularly where terry-cloth towels are also provided.

American companies manufacturing robes and dressing gowns were in competition with overseas manufacturing, mostly from China and Taiwan, throughout the 1990s and 2000s. By the mid-2000s, more than half the robes and gowns sold in America were imported. American exports of these products were traditionally small. To curb growing imports from China, the U.S. Commerce Department established new quotas on robes and dressing gowns from that country in 2004. Despite this, imports from China alone jumped from more than $600 million in 2004 to nearly $2 billion just one year later. By November 2008, China accounted for a record 54 percent of the U.S. apparel imports.

According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, in 2007 U.S. production of robes and dressing gowns increased over the decade, unlike most sectors of the apparel industry. U.S. manufacturers produced 5.4 million robes and dressing gowns from manufactured materials that year, compared to 2.2 million in 2000. Manufacture of cotton robes and dressing gowns also increased from 3.7 million in 2000 to 9.4 million in 2007.

Technological advances helped manufacturers of robes and dressing gowns to improve efficiency in the production and distribution of their goods. Three areas in particular improved in this industry through technological developments: computer-aided design, production, and communications; modular manufacturing systems; and ergonomics (workplace equipment designed with respect to worker health and safety).

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News and information about Robes and Dressing Gowns

Uspto Issues Trademark: B2run
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; April 1, 2018; 491 words
...79204337 was filed on Oct. 21, 2016 and was registered on March 6.Goods and Services: Clothing, namely, bath robes and dressing gowns; coats; evening gowns; headgear, namely, caps, hats, headbands; neck scarves; gloves; scarves; ponchos...
Uspto Issues Trademark: Of'e Joaillerie Parisienne
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; September 23, 2016; 700+ words
...garters, suspenders, cuffs and muffs; underclothing and underwear; lingerie; T-shirts; nightgowns, robes and dressing gowns; bathing suitsHair ornaments in the form of combs; hair ornaments; hair pins; hair clips; hair bands; hair...
Lure of Telenovelas, High-End Get-Ups Drive Comedy 'Destiny of Desire' at Arena
The Washington Post; September 29, 2015; 700+ words
...inflated characters that takes the cake, from Fabiola's scarlet jodhpur ensemble to a swanky collection of robes and dressing gowns.The acting is comically savvy and hyper-passionate, goaded to emotional overload by Zacarias's florid dialogue...
Lure of Telenovelas Drives Arena's 'Destiny'
The Washington Post; September 28, 2015; 700+ words
...inflated characters that takes the cake, from Fabiola's scarlet jodhpur ensemble to a swanky collection of robes and dressing gowns.The acting is comically savvy and hyper-passionate, goaded to emotional overload by Zacarias's florid dialogue...
PPI Detailed Report: Data for September 2015
PPI Detailed Report; September 1, 2015; 700+ words
...brassieres, bandeaux, corsets (exc surgical), girdles, & combinations, mfpm 315240-17 Women's and girls' robes and dressing gowns, made from purchased fabrics 315240-19 Women's and girls' blouses and shirts 315240-2 Women's and girls...
US Fed News Service, Including US State News; February 12, 2011; 377 words
...shirts, jackets, vests, and tops; footwear; headgear, namely, hats and caps; swimming costumes; bath robes and dressing gowns; dress handkerchiefs in the nature of pocket squares; belts; neckerchiefs; gloves; braces; collars; ties...
Research and Markets Adds Report: Women's and Girls' Cut and Sew Lingerie, Loungewear, and Nightwear Manufacturing Industry in the U.S. and its International Trade [Q3 2009 Edition]
Manufacturing Close-Up; October 5, 2009; 700+ words; 2369 - Girls, Childrens, and Infants Outerwear, NEC (girls robes except contractors); 2384 - Robes and Dressing Gowns (womens except contractors); and 2389 - Apparel and Accessories, NEC (garters and garter belts except contractors...
Textile Industry Wonders If Import Restrictions Are Too Little, Too Late.
The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, NC); December 10, 2003; 700+ words
...wonders about the Nov. 18 announcement that the government would put limits on the amounts of knit fabrics, bras, robes and dressing gowns imported from China next year. Under the restrictions, growth in those imports could increase only 7.5 percent...

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