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Mintel Menswear 2016: men are shopping more, prefer sportswear to suits and are quality and tech driven

Lauretta Roberts
09 June 2016

Menswear growth is outstripping womenswear, more young men are shopping for themselves in-store than young women, sportswear is more appealing than suits, quality and innovation matter to men, and there is great opportunity in the plus-size and over-45s market. These are the key themes to emerge from leading market intelligence agency Mintel's latest report on the menswear market.

Key statistics from the report have been released ahead of the official kick off of London Collections Men tomorrow (10 June).

Growth of menswear market outpaces womenswear:

  • In 2015, the men’s clothing market grew by 4.1% to reach £14.1 billion, up from £11.4bn in 2010.  The market is forecast to grow by 22.5% between 2015 and 2020 to reach £17.2bn.
  • 88% of men bought clothes for themselves in-store or online in the last 12 months*, rising to 96% of men aged 16-24 and 94% of Londoners.
  • Although menswear still only accounts for one quarter (25%) of the total clothing market, Mintel research reveals that it is growing at a faster rate than womenswear, which grew by 3.7% in 2015.
  • In 2015 the market for womenswear was valued at £26.9bn. Sales of womenswear are expected to grow by 17.4% between 2015 and 2020 to reach £31.6 bn.

Mintel senior fashion analyst Tamara Sender said: “In response to men showing a greater interest in their appearance, retailers are expanding menswear ranges, and more designers are debuting men’s clothing collections. As a result, the menswear market is reaping the rewards and growing at a faster rate than womenswear. However, as spend on clothing is increasingly competing with other areas, clothing retailers will have to work harder than ever to encourage men to part with their money. Tactics such as focusing on more stylish clothes for all ages, offering a wider range of larger sizes, and combining retail with leisure to create destination shopping venues should prove successful for retailers moving forward.”

Whistles menswear

Whistles is just one retailer to launch standalone men's stores

Young men more likely to purchase clothes in-store than young women

  • 95% of men aged 16-24 have bought clothes for themselves in-store over the past year, compared to 91% of women the same age.
  • Additionally, Mintel research indicates that there has been a rise in the youngest male consumers purchasing online. Nearly three quarters (74%) of men aged 16-24 bought clothes online in 2015, up from 70% in 2014.

Men more likely to buy sportswear than suits

  • Of men who bought clothes in the last year, 28% bought sportswear, compared to just 12% who bought a suit.
  • Men aged 35-44 are the most likely to have bought sportswear over the past year, with one third (33%) doing so.
  • Young men prioritise product quality with 54% of 16-24s considering this the most important factor when buying clothes from a particular retailer, versus 49% of those that look for low prices.

“The trend for casual sportswear has continued with tracksuit trousers and tops being worn out and about and not just at the gym. Major sporting events in 2016 including Euro 2016, the Rio Olympics and the Ryder Cup are likely to continue to stoke interest in the ‘athleisure’ trend.” Sender commented.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic has just launched a men's activewear line ahead of Euro 2016

Plus-size and over 45s present opportunities for growth

  • Plus-size clothing continues to be a hot topic. Close to one fifth (17%) of male clothes shoppers want better availability of clothes in larger sizes when shopping in-store, peaking among men aged 25-34 (21%).
  • An aging UK population means that retailers will need to focus on driving purchases among older men by addressing their specific needs. According to Mintel research, older men aged 45-54 (50%) show above average interest in the style of clothes when shopping compared to 47% of consumers overall.

“While more mainstream retailers are entering the plus-size market, there is still a gap in the for fashion focused menswear retailers to expand their ranges to include larger sizes,” Sender added.

Launched by home shopping specialist Unity last year, Pegasus targets the 45-plus male

Launched by home shopping specialist Unity last year, Pegasus targets the 45-plus male

One in 10 (9%) younger men have bought costume jewellery

  • While purchasing of fashion accessories remains low among men overall compared to women, young men are more likely than average to have purchased these items: one in ten (9%) men aged 16-24 bought costume jewellery in the 12 months to October 2015.

Innovation fits the bill

  • Almost half (47%) of men are interested in sizing technology that helps with buying clothes online that fit.
  • Three in 10 (29%) male clothes shoppers would like to see an improvement with queuing at the till, while one in five (18%) would like to see an improvement in changing rooms.
  • Mintel research reveals that 28% of men are interested in styling tips and 24% in a personal shopper or stylist to help them decide what to buy.

“As the latest retail technology becomes more sophisticated and retailers invest in the back-end capabilities to support it, innovations such as smart fitting rooms, advanced payment technology and online sizing tools have the potential to drastically improve the shopping experience in-store and online. More retailers are looking to introduce the latest payment technology, which can also help reduce long queues at checkout as this is the main factor that men would like improved when shopping in-store,” concludes Sender.

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