“Marketing specialists at clothing stores consistently tell us that ‘trending’ and ‘new’ are the hot buttons that inspire most women’s purchases,” says Leslie Linevsky, Catalogs.com co-founder. “Men’s motivation when buying clothing and lifestyle accessories is much different, which isn’t surprising if you think about how the men in your life shop. Men are ‘repeat buyers,’ and prefer to purchase what they already know and have confidence in.”
Rich Jagisch, Senior Manager of e-Commerce at Hammacher Schlemmer, points out that sophistication and comfort are high priorities for the company’s primarily high-income, older, well-read and well-traveled customer. “Hammacher Schlemmer is focused on ‘solution-selling,’ not products. Our merchandise selection is determined by customer satisfaction, rather than factors like trends or the profitability of a specific product. If a gadget or electronic product does not effectively solve a problem for our shoppers," continues Jagisch, "for example, relief of age-related aches and pains, then it is removed from the store even if the product has a high profit margin.”
The iconic retailer is more about customer satisfaction and customer response than fostering flagship products. “Hammacher Schlemmer rotates about 30% of its product on a 12-month basis," notes Jagisch. "Nothing is ‘sacred,’ and products that don’t receive good reviews from customers don’t last here, no matter how trendy they are.”
Harry Egler, Vice President of Marketing with Filson, has a similar take on men's shopping patterns. “At Filson, which has been in business for over 116 years, our brand is rooted in heritage -- not whims or hot styles. The focus has always been on quality products,” emphasizes Egler. “The core Filson audience shops here because of what our name represents.”
“The concept of ‘fashion forward’ shopping in the men’s apparel market has peaked out,” says Andrew Denman, Director of Logistics at Margaritaville Lifestyle. “Our male shoppers buy for a purpose, for an occasion or purely for escapism. They are looking for products that match their lifestyle, and the big sellers are traditional designs and materials, like v-necks, Henleys and lighter fabrics.”
In addition to Filson, Margaritaville Lifestyle and Hammacher Schlemmer, many other Catalogs.com men’s retailers, like Jos. A. Bank, Orvis and Gander Mountain, also build their reputation on quality and tradition.
“Guys aren’t generally looking for the hottest trend,” adds Linevsky. “When you ask men what they want for a birthday or holiday, and the response is they like the shirt you bought last year, and the year before, they’re telling the truth.”
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