Luxury brand retailers like Barneys, Bergdorf’s and Paul Stuart are revamping their men’s sections to make them more inviting. Today’s male shopper wants a more informal in-store shopping experience that includes options for weekend clothes as well as work clothes in one shopping trip. Traditionally, men’s departments have been very stuffy and have included wood-paneling and more formal environments. Now, retailers are adopting strategies similar to women’s departments by taking down walls to allow shoppers to see more of the department’s offerings.
Bergdorf’s is renaming its men’s store to Goodman’s. It has knocked down walls surrounding the entrance to increase visibility. Luxury products that used to anchor the entrance are now replaced with men’s bags, leather goods, and grooming products.
Lord & Taylor’s New York store expanded its men’s department from one floor to two and removed dark wood and bulky fixtures. The company used a lot of white or off white colors and chrome fixtures to appear very modern. Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue are all renovating their men’s sections in some of their U.S. stores.
Men’s clothing is also shifting to a slimmer silhouette. Many men are now shopping to replace dated products with newer products that reflect modern trends.
Sales of men’s apparel are up 2.8% for the first three quarters of 2012. Sales are growing more quickly than in women’s apparel. Worldwide, sales of men’s apparel grew 10% last year versus 8% in women’s apparel. Luxury retailers have noticed that the subtle changes in store design have encouraged men to stay longer in the stores.
1. What are some retailers doing to appeal to male shoppers?
2. Do you believe this is a good idea? Why or why not?
SOURCE: Ray A. Smith, Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2013