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NPD says forty-five plus demographic prefers dressier apparel

Sep '05
Sales & marketing leader NPD says that career focused men in Canada are dressing fashionably as a way to stand out in an ocean of business casual dress wear.

According to The NPD Group, this trend has increased the combined sales of suits and dress shirts by 17 per cent or $118 million from May 2004 to May 2005. With men's suits and dress shirts now accounting for 14 per cent of total dollar sales, it has reached an 11-year high as a proportion of the overall men's apparel market.

This growth can be largely attributed to Canadian age demographics, particularly men age 45 and older. From May 2004 to May 2005, suits and dress shirts purchased by this age group has accounted for a 27 per cent increase (57 per cent to 62 per cent) in the overall $831 million men's suit and dress shirt market.

Kaileen Millard, Director of Fashion, NPD Group said that age continues to dominate the apparel market, as the 45 and over age group are driving overall sales. They see this as a very significant dynamic in the Canadian apparel market and one which retailers and manufacturers should pay close attention to.

Sales of the overall men's apparel market in Canada increased by two per cent between May 2004 and May 2005. However, if the increased sales of suits and dress shirts were excluded from the numbers, the overall men's apparel market would remain flat.

One particular bright spot for retailers is the success of private label suits for men, which now accounts for 67 per cent of total suit category dollar sales and is a significant reversal from a decade ago.

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