Author: Melanie Marriott, 02 June 2016

The menswear clothing market has grown by 22%* in the UK over the past five years and is now worth £13.5bn* annually.  Reasons for such rapid growth range from the rise of internet shopping to the fact that it’s more socially acceptable for men to be fashion forward and ‘on trend’.

Retailers are quickly picking up on this trend, both online and in physical stores. This is happening at all ends of the spectrum, from the luxury sector to mass market brands.

Online shopping has made purchasing clothes quicker, easier and hassle free - all of which appeal to time conscious young professionals. When it comes to online shopping, convenience, ease and speed appear to be key drivers for men. When ordering online, only 8% of men choose to Click and Collect as their main delivery preference, almost half the proportion of women (14%). (FSP shopper surveys)

Menswear in shopping Centres

Online personal styling services are a growing sector in the menswear market. Companies like Enclothed which started in 2013, will not only select items for customers, but deliver them to your door, give you time to try them on, then only bill you for what items you choose to keep. Enclothed and similar companies Thread and Chavar only offers services to men, promising to take the hassle out of shopping.  Purchasing menswear has literally never been easier. 

At the other end of the spectrum, Harvey Nichols is leading the way in the luxury sector, with the creation of their new “Menswear Destination” in the Knightsbridge store. The two storey ‘mega boutique’ covers 28,000ft2 and includes Project 109 – bringing a barbershop by AONO and Wallpaper* Bar and Kitchen into the new destination. Serving everything from cocktails to breakfast, Harvey Nichols has invested heavily in delivering to the most discerning male shoppers a luxury experience with a difference.

Amongst the mass market, New Look Men has taken the leasing world by storm in recent months, having opened six stores since September 2015 and agreed deals for a number of others, with aspirations for 25 full stores by the end of March 2017. At present Menswear accounts for 3-4% of New Look’s total turnover, but the retailer has ambitions to push this to 10-15%**. Menswear is sold in around 31% of New Look stores; the shift in focus to Menswear only stores reflects their faith in this rapidly growing market.

Zara led the trend for menswear only stores in November 2014, opening its store in Bullring, Birmingham. Whistles is the latest national retailer to venture into the world of menswear only, opening its newest format in Shoreditch in March this year on the back of its successful pop-up in October 2015.

Whilst not necessarily suitable for all shopping centres, menswear only stores are something we will certainly see more of in the near future. FSP’s Trading Gap research can help you understand the opportunity for additional menswear space within your retail asset. FSP has a wealth of experience in delivering insightful strategy reports for some of the UK’s largest retail property owners including L&G, M&G, and Redefine. To find out more about how our market intelligence or trading gap reports could assist you, or if you would like to understand more about how internet shopping habits influence your shopping centre, feel free to contact Melanie for more information.

  *Source: Mintel
** Source: Craig Ash, New Look’s head of retail menswear. February 2016

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