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20 key facts about the British menswear market, as LFWM gets underway

Lauretta Roberts
09 June 2017

As the fifth anniversary edition of London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) gets underway today, market intelligence experts Mintel have released new figures that underline the increasing importance of the menswear market and highlight some of the key demands men have of fashion brands today.

While it remains a much smaller market (with only 27% share of the overall fashion market) menswear growth is outstripping that of womenswear. However some of the demands men have of retailers and brands are much the same as women; more frequently updated collections, more plus sizes, more consistent sizes and models that better represent them for a start. However they are more likely to pay more for British-made products than women, which will be good news for the designers showing on the catwalks of London over the next four days.

“More retailers and brands have been tapping into the growing menswear market by expanding their men’s clothing offer, as well as launching stores and separate websites dedicated to men’s fashion. As more retailers are entering the menswear market and men are faced with greater choice of products, styles and sizing, the sector is becoming more competitive. Millennial men are also becoming more demanding, wanting higher quality pieces, frequently updated collections and unique designs, and they will choose to buy clothes from those retailers and brands that step up to the plate,” says Mintel senior fashion analyst Tamara Sender.

Here are the top 20 takeaways from the Mintel Menswear UK 2017 Report

Menswear market hit £14.5bn in 2016

- The UK men’s clothing market is estimated to have grown by 2.8% in 2016. This growth rate is more than twice that of the women’s clothing market, which rose by a slim 1.3%.

- The menswear sector still only accounts for 27% of the total clothing market, reaching £14.5bn in 2016, compared to the womenswear market which hit £27.25bn.

- More than three in five (61%) male shoppers agree that frequent special offers make it unnecessary to purchase clothes at full price.

- As young men are buying clothes more frequently, they are looking for retailers to respond to this, with one fifth (21%) of male shoppers aged under 25 wanting more frequently updated collections.

- Mintel forecasts that menswear will grow by 12.3% between 2016 and 2021 to reach £16.3bn.

Young men keep in step with young women

- Young men are more likely than young women to have bought footwear in the last quarter (47% of male 16-24s versus 45% of female 16-24s), with the rising popularity of trainers driving men’s footwear sales.

- Meanwhile, men aged 25-44 have overtaken women of the same age when it comes to buying clothes in the three months to December 2016 (47% of male 25-44s versus 43% of female 25-44s).

Hey good lookin’

- Today, as many as three in five (59%) men agree that they feel more attractive when they are well-groomed.

- Meanwhile, one in five (21%) of men believe a good role model is one who looks after his appearance, for example, with grooming or clothes.

- Almost two in three (63%) male shoppers agree that models in retailers’ ad campaigns should reflect the age of their customers, rising to almost seven in 10 (68%) Baby Boomers (aged 52-70).

Made in Britain

- Men are more likely than women to agree that it is worth paying more for clothes made in Britain, with 42% of male shoppers agreeing compared with 37% of female shoppers.

- Willingness to pay a higher price for locally made garments peaks among male 25-34s (62%).

- Over a third (36%) of male shoppers would be interested in more eco-friendly fabrics used in clothes. This rises to two in five (40%) men aged 16-34.

Fast-click fashion

- One in four men (26%) would like the option to purchase directly from a social media site.

- Younger Millennial males are the most interested in a delivery pass that has a membership fee for free annual, unlimited delivery and collection. Over half (55%) of 17-26-year-old men agree with this, compared to an average of 41%.

- Meanwhile, 45% of men are interested in fitting rooms with a tablet that allows shoppers to request additional sizes and colours and 39% would like time-delayed mirrors.

Sizing up the problem

- A third (32%) of male shoppers would like to see more consistent sizing, this rises to four in 10 (39%) over-55s. With the obesity crisis driving the need for larger sizes, some 13% of male shoppers say they would like to see more plus sizes.

- At the other end of the scale, one in 20 (6%) woud like to see more petite sizes.

A good sport

- Men are increasingly dressing more casually, with almost three fifths (58%) agreeing that sporty styles of clothing are practical for everyday wear. Men are more likely than women (50%) to agree with this, highlighting the importance of sportswear for the menswear market.

- Three in 10 (30%) men aged 16-24 and around one quarter (23%) of men aged 25-44 have bought sportswear in the last three months.

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