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Data digest: Online men’s fashion is in hot demand

  • News
  • May 20, 2015
Data digest: Online men’s fashion is in hot demand

Research firm IbisWorld has found men’s clothing sales is surpassing computers, beers and groceries.

An IbisWorld retail industry analyst told Quartz that the high growth rate in men’s clothing sales is probably due to the fact that the online menswear market isn’t saturated yet.

While e-commerce sites offering cosmetics, alcohol and groceries are a dime a dozen, men may still be lacking a choice in online men’s retailers.

The company reckons there is still room for this demand to expand, too. Its future projections show online menswear will grow more than any of the other selected categories.

Kiwi retailers are trying to tackle that market gap locally – Barkers, Huffer and I Love Ugly have ecommerce sites, and there’s even a site set up where girls can pick outfits out for guys – Wear It Her Way.

The website had over 1300 users in March and founder Liam Houlahan says it takes away any gripes men have with shopping.

But these are all sites aimed at a young demographic, so it begs the question of what older men are after.

Some say men’s website Mr Porter is the way of the future for older men.

At the WGSN trends summit in Auckland earlier this month, head of market intelligence Lorna Hall praised the high-end ecommerce site for its unobtrusive personalisation.

She spoke of a colleague who regularly purchased clothing through Mr Porter for her husband, describing the woman's "surprise and delight" when the site temporarily replaced the main banner with her own name.

"She literally squealed when she saw it."

Though there’s no New Zealand specific statistics about men shopping online, other research provides context.

A Nielsen survey found last year that from age 45, men outspend women.

They seem to particularly splash out in the 55 to 64 timeframe – 26 percent of men are spending, compared to 21 percent of women.

As well as this, Nielsen reported last year there are 1.9 million New Zealanders shopping online, which equals 56 percent of the total population.

Nearly half a million Kiwis each made 11 or more purchases on the internet last year, an increase of 58 percent in the last two years.

Do you think there’s a gap in the online menswear market? Let us know in the comments below. 

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