But there are also modest reasons for optimism, with recovery likely to get underway in 2013, according to the "Global market review of lingerie and intimate apparel - forecasts to 2017." Indeed, it predicts the lingerie market at retail prices will be worth $29.23 billion in 2012, rising to $30.55 billion over the next five years.
The report, which is now in its fifth edition, says emerging markets, and particularly the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), will have an increasingly important role to play for lingerie brands and private labels. But consumer economics will continue to work against Western Europe and the U.S.
As well as providing the latest data and forecasts on retail volumes and values for bras and briefs in key world markets, the research also contains matrices of brands and private-label price points and market segmentation, and looks at the importance of brands and private labels and how they perform against each other.
"This market review has become the benchmark report for anyone that needs to understand the global production and retail trends and issues that are affecting the lingerie and intimate apparel sectors," said Leonie Barrie, managing editor of just-style.
"The lingerie market has historically been a resilient sector, both for brands and retailers, but that is no longer the case," she added. "That said, our report shows that even in a flat economy, there is still enough interest to provide a stimulus for new entrants to replace those brands and retailers dropping out."
The "Global market review of lingerie and intimate apparel - forecasts to 2017" is an essential tool for understanding the behaviour of lingerie consumers, identifying worldwide retail market trends, analysing lingerie garment production, and carrying out competitor and brand analysis.