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Menswear market outpaces womenswear in UK
Jun '16
The clothing market in UK is forecast to grow by 22.5 per cent between 2015 and 2020 to reach £17.2 billion and interestingly more men are buying clothes than women. Last year, the men's clothing market grew by 4.1 per cent to reach £14.1 billion, up from £11.4 billion in 2010, according to a research by leading market intelligence agency, Mintel.

Despite menswear accounting for only one quarter of the clothing market, Mintel research revealed that it was growing at a faster pace than womenswear that lagged behind showing a growth rate of 3.7 per cent in 2015.

The research showed that preference for athleisure continued among men in 2015, when more men preferred to buy tracksuits rather than formals while stepping out. Also, 88 per cent of men bought clothes for themselves in-store or online during the period. This translated into 96 per cent males aged between 16-24 – a majority of who (94 per cent) were Londoners.

“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,” said Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst at Mintel said.

In comparison, the market for womenswear was valued at £26.9 billion. Sales of womenswear are expected to grow by 17.4 per cent between 2015 and 2020 to reach £31.6 billion, Sender said.

However, as spend on clothing is increasingly competing with other areas, clothing retailers will also 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.

Also Mintel, research showed that young men are more likely to purchase clothes in-store than young women. Almost 95 per cent of men aged 16-24 bought clothes for themselves in-store over the past year, compared to 91 per cent of women the same age.

Furthermore, Mintel research indicates that there has been a rise in the youngest male consumers purchasing online. Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of men aged 16-24 bought clothes online in 2015, up from 70 per cent in 2014.

Of men who bought clothes in 2015, 28 per cent bought sportswear, compared to just 12 per cent who bought a suit. Among them nearly one third men aged between 35-44 years were likely to have bought sportswear over the past year. Another interesting feature about young men shoppers was that a good 54 per cent of them in the age group16-24 years looked for product quality as against those who looked for low prices.

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