Author: Kate Bickerton, 30 June 2017

Last year, FSP reported on the rapid growth of the UK menswear market, worth £14.5bn in 2016 and accounting for 25% of the UK clothing market. New data from Edited this year shows that the menswear market continues to grow strongly as increasingly fashion conscious men translate this into their buying habits. Findings from the Great British Wardrobe Report suggest that men may even spend more per month on clothes than women (£100 compared with £74), although purchasing fewer, more expensive pieces.

Wider cultural and lifestyle trends surrounding heightened male interest in fashion and personal style have led to an increased willingness amongst men to spend on their appearance. At a more extreme level, men are increasingly concerned over body image: it is perhaps not entirely coincidence that male cosmetic surgery hit a record high in 2015, with a 110% increase in procedures since 2000 (i).

Within the fashion market, there has been a gradual growth in interest in male fashion, helped by the athleisure trend and evidenced most starkly by the introduction of London Fashion Week Men’s in 2012.  The past 5 years have seen a 38% increase in new menswear brands and a 31% increase in sellouts of male merchandise, and menswear is expected to be worth £16.5bn by 2019 (ii). The market continues to grow at a faster rate than womenswear, itself expected to shrink, and could even outperform it by 2020 (iii). Figures released by Mintel this month show that the UK men’s clothing market grew by more than twice that of its female counterpart (+2.8% vs. +1.3%). Euromonitor forecast menswear to grow by 2.3% per year over the next three years compared to 2.2% for womenswear.


Male millennials are a key target group as their fashion spend is 64% above that of the average man. Designer menswear has also been highlighted as a key growth area – this luxury market is expected to grow by 14% globally between 2015 and 2020 to $33bn (iv).  However, there are indeed opportunities across the board for both fast-fashion and quality brands as men buy seasonal ‘throwaway’ items alongside long-lasting investment pieces. This dualism has meant that retailers as diverse as New Look and Louis Vuitton have opened male-only stores.

Ultimately, menswear presents a clear opportunity for increased performance within a challenging retail climate. Despite a quick response to this trend amongst online operators (think ASOS, Boohoo, Farfetch and Net-a-Porter’s Yoox), there are concerns that bricks and mortar operators may be missing this opportunity. While there has been some progress within the premium designer segment – Fendi has opened a pop-up to showcase its limited edition AW17 collection at Dover Street Market – and high-street retailer New Look has continued its rapid expansion of menswear stores, only a small number of brands operating physical stores have opened standalone male branches. Despite speculation in the final months of 2016 over plans to open menswear-only stores, H&M has not followed suit.

Although not necessarily suitable for all shopping schemes, integrating standalone menswear stores could help in differentiating a scheme from surrounding competition while taking advantage of a key growth area.  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 FSP for more information.



i. British Associated of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
ii. Edited, Mintel
iii. Euromonitor
iv. Pragma
v. Pure Market Report 2016 

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