Gildan Grows By Challenging Fruit of the Loom

Gildan, one of the largest t-shirt blanks companies in the world, and the makers of the traditionally popular Costco Kirkland Undershirt is looking to give Fruit of the Loom a run for it’s money.

Gildan won 70 percent of the North American wholesale screenprint market with a shorter supply chain based in Central America instead of China and steady investment in manufacturing, the company said in a presentation last month. A new $100 million factory in Honduras will begin production by the end of the year that will be $20 million cheaper to run annually and increase production 50 percent by the end of 2013, said Sophie Argiriou, Gildan spokeswoman.

Growing nearly 70% in 2012, Gildan has its sights set on displacing Fruit of the Looms’ and Hanes innerwear business by streamlining their operations, reducing manufacturing costs, and extending those savings to the retailers. Providing those stores with higher margins is the name of the game for Gildan.

Gildan’s Chamandy said underwear is one of the hardest consumer markets to break into because people are often loyal to their brands. He said aggressive pricing will overcome this.

With Gildan’s 2011 purchase of Gold Toe (Socks), it provided them with immediate access to four of the largest big-box retailers including Walmart and Target. This new retail reach gives them the opening to potentially introduce it’s own innerwear line into those retailers.

Think of it, wouldn’t it be cool to be able to get Kirkland-like T-shirts at Walmart or Target? Looks like Gildan will be coming up with a handful of new white-label/house brand names for these retailers in the not-too-distant future.


Sweat Proof Undershirts

Granted, it might not be that easy for Gildan to compete with Hanes in the underwear market. Mind-share has a lot to do with what us consumers buy, and Hanes clearly is the dominant player.

But, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Gildan working to replace the secondary innerwear brands currently at major retailers. At Walmart, I could see Gildan displacing Faded Glory. At Target, maybe the Merona brand underwear?

What actually might happen might be totally transparent to us too. The retailers might just start using Gildan to produce their existing house-brand innerwear products.

Let’s see what happens in 2013!




How to wear undershirts

2 thoughts on “Gildan Grows By Challenging Fruit of the Loom”

  1. On the suggestion of this blog:

    I recently purchased several packages of white Gildan boxerbriefs and wish to Gildan on what appears – first wearing, at least – to be a superior garment. I was previously unaware of the company. I am happy to know about it.

    I have long preferred traditional, mid-length “boxer briefs” over regular men’s briefs. I appreciate the the extra leg coverage and general freedom that these provide. A slightly longer inseam would be even better. I have an allergic reaction to most cotton blend fabrics (particularly in warmer weather), so 100% cotton fabric is the primary criteria that I look for in any underwear. I also like the taped-seams that Gildan provides on their boxerbriefs. This is something lacking in most other manufacturers’ boxerbriefs of recent decades. I also prefer to wear white underwear over other colors or patterns. Finally, the price of Gildan underwear is very reasonable. I have paid much more for underwear that I like far less!

    I would also add – and I know that I am probably very much in the minority compared to most readers – that I enjoy wearing flat-knit, long underwear during cold weather, whether as long shirts and pants, or “functional” one-piece union suits. I have also worn sleeveless a/o mid-thigh union suits on occasion. (NO – I AM NOT A MORMON! ) I generally have to mail order my long johns from Canada, or purchase them while abroad in the U.K. or Europe, where they are still fairly available for purchase.


    • heya robert! thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about gildan boxer briefs!

      really happy to hear you’re happy with them and i’m certain the information will come in handy to others looking for some feedback on the gildan innerwear line.

      if you’re interested in writing a review that is a bit more detailed, i’d be happy to publish it in my undershirt/underwear reviews section.

      let me know, ok?


Leave a Comment

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.