There’s something about a pair of socks that tends to be problematic. For one, the pair never remains intact. There’s always a sock that ventures off the beaten path, surfacing months later underneath the bed, behind the dresser or dangling from your dog’s mouth after you’ve already halfheartedly discarded the mate. It’s no wonder that monthly, online sock subscription services—like Say It With A Sock, Sock Club and Next Sock—have soared in popularity; there’s a constant need for new socks, or rather, one new sock. But French retailer Monoprix decided to resolve this issue by selling socks, not in pairs, but in packs of three: one for each foot, and one to await the inevitable moment when another goes missing.

Taking a common inconvenience and approaching it in a unique, humorous, but also convenient way, Monoprix found a profitable solution to a first-world problem—and one that customers will enjoy. The product release coincided with a film designed by Rosapark, a marketing and advertising company based in Paris. The comical, yet relatable film centered around the punchy question, “Where’s my sock?” featuring people trawling underneath beds, in laundry baskets and community laundromat machines. One person, who is fed up with the search, desperately cries into one sock as she longs for its mate.

The ingenuity of Monoprix’s three-sock pack is that it is rooted in the basic practice of inventing a product that solves a common problem. The market is already infiltrated with socks, not only from companies that exclusively sell socks, but larger companies that sell socks and other products. Introducing another sock company into the mix wouldn’t have nearly as great of an impact as the three-sock deal. By designing this product, Monoprix is showing they’re paying attention to consumers’ needs—and probably their own needs, too—and presenting a solution.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.