Menswear: Winning strategies for 2018

Growth in the menswear market is outstripping womenswear – there has been a 1.5% increase of new-in UK menswear products YOY in Q1 2018, while womenswear new-ins have stayed flat. This growth is polarised and driven by fast-fashion players who are catering to an increasingly style-conscious male shopper. However, increased availability by retailers means the market is becoming more competive, and male shoppers more demanding.


Here’s our how-to guide to win in 2018:

Convenience is crucial. Male consumers are still reluctant shoppers, with an aversion to browsing, so retailers need to be offering them near-instant gratification via next day delivery options and easy return processes. Features such as these are not new however and will be expected as a standard service so take a leaf out of ASOS’ book and push it further, like their recently launched try-before-you-buy scheme – especially relevant to cash-strapped but style-conscious shoppers.


Style is key. With hybrid styling coming to the forefront, men need to be explicitly shown how to rock these new tailoring-meets-sportswear combinations. Retailers have to use style guides, both online and instore, as well as aspirational imagery. Take this one step further by  incorporating a gallery of products styled by current shoppers, as this will add a human nature to products, whilst creating a body-positive, inclusive and diverse community.


Identity is a must. The menswear market is at risk of saturating, especially in the mass market and successful retailers will be those that create a strong and authentic identity to stand them out from the crowd (look to newcomers Weekday and Arket) – a strategy especially relevant to mass market retailers. Learn what it is your customers want and ensure this is conveyed through cohesive product, communication and merchandising to build interest.


Experience is game-changing. Money is going to continue to be tight for consumers in 2018 and retailers therefore need to be providing shoppers with more than one reason to be entering the store/website. Male grooming is on the up and for multi-product retailers such as the department stores, a holistic environment needs to be incorporated – a one stop shop for all men’s needs. This should be explored through in-store barber shops and pop up bars and for those online, vouchers are a sure way to rise above competitors.


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