US menswear market likely to exceed $94 bn by 2020
Since its beginnings in a one-room office in Dallas in 1926, Haggar Clothing Co has grown from a manufacturer of men's fine dress pants and slacks into one of the most recognized apparel brands in the market. Haggar coined the term "slacks" in 1938 and has continued to lead menswear innovation and technology for over 90 years. Chief sourcing and merchandising officer Tony Anzovino opens up about the ups and downs of manufacturing in the United States, the focus on sustainability at Haggar and much more in an interview with Fibre2Fashion.
What is the market size for menswear in the United States? What is the expected growth rate by 2020?
The current US menswear market is worth almost $75 billion, and is expected to exceed $94 billion by 2020. This is a very encouraging trend because it tells us that US men are spending more on clothing and have a renewed sense of fashion.
Which are your major markets in the United States and abroad?
Our major markets are the premium and mid-tier channels, shopping clubs and all US e-commerce businesses, as well as upper markets, clubs and all e-commerce centres in Canada and Mexico. We offer a full assortment of casual, dress and tailored products across those markets, with fits for every guy - slim, slim-straight, straight, classic, original and relaxed.
What are the highs and lows of manufacturing in the United States?
For brands that manufacture in the United States, the highs are speed to market and having product made close to the consumer. The lows include higher FOB prices and a limited range of available raw materials and trims.
Which are your best-selling products? Which price points work well?
Across a number of categories, Haggar has products that aren't just bestsellers for the brand, but bestsellers overall. For six consecutive quarters, we have had the No 1-selling dress and casual pant styles in America in our E-CLO dress pant and premium no iron khaki. Price points average an MSRP of $70 for pants and $225 for suit jackets.
Which offline sales channels are faring well for the brand? Do you plan to open exclusive stores?
Actually, all of our offline sales channels are faring well. Haggar is available in retailers like Kohl's, JCPenney, Macy's, Target and Belk, and we currently have more than 80 exclusive Haggar direct stores in the United States and Canada.
Where do you source raw materials from?
Our finished raw materials come from all over the world, the primary countries being India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan and Mexico. The entire supply chain includes many more countries, including the United States.
Do you plan to expand the product offerings in womenswear?
There is always the possibility of expansion in womenswear. We have a company in our group - Tribal Sportswear - that does an amazing job in womenswear for the US market. It services all of the women's specialty stores with Tribal branded sportswear and accessories.
How many collections do you come up with each year? How many styles in each collection?
We develop several collections per year and are very deliberate with the design of each one. There is no set limit to the number of styles developed in each. Instead, we curate the line and decide on the best styles to represent the brand. Only the best are worthy of bearing a Haggar label.
What about the recently launched recycled clothing line?
What Haggar is doing in terms of sustainability is very exciting. We have recycled more than 130 million water bottles since we began using the Repreve fibre, which is made partly from recycled water bottles. Unifi, which produces Repreve, recently recognised us for our commitment to prioritising environmental conservation with its inaugural Repreve Champions of Sustainability award.
We first introduced Repreve into our collections with our E-CLO dress pant line, which has several styles of poly dress pants using recycled water bottles. We followed with our Life Khaki line, which has evolved into our sustainable chino. This year, we evolved E-CLO into our premium comfort dress pant - a better version of the original. We continue to add to our sustainability story every season with casual and dress products.
How aware are American shoppers when it comes to responsible clothing?
Attention to responsible and sustainable clothing depends on the consumer and the demographic. Most Americans are aware of sustainability and responsible clothing, but possibly only millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z are actively pursuing responsibly sourced and produced clothing. We have been able to integrate sustainable attributes into pants like the E-CLO and premium comfort dress pants that have an incredible fit and feel - even for shoppers who aren't seeking out responsible clothing; the environmental impact is a nice side benefit.
Has Trump's presidency had an impact on your business?
That is difficult to say, but a strong US economy is always good for business. With unemployment figures so low and more Americans working, the future is brighter for retail.
What are your future plans?
We plan to build on our 92 years of history, continuing to create the highest quality products possible and exceeding our consumer's expectations. We always work to keep our current customers happy and reach out to share our brand and clothing with new ones. (HO)