(Author : Sam Gopal)
Bucking the trend, men’s fashion growth in the market outstripped womenswear last year, reaching an estimated US$440 billion in global sales.
Online retail is the fastest growing sector, expected to increase 14.2 percent by 2020, and growth in menswear last year outstripped womenswear, reaching an estimated US$440 billion in global sales. Retailers like New York-based menswear brand Bonobos are capitalising on men’s increasing interest in online shopping, and has just recorded the sale of its one millionth pair of chinos!
Just eight years old, Bonobos is now the largest US retail company ever created online, owed in large part to its loyal customer base and attention to product detail.
Founder Andy Dunn announced last month he was stepping aside as CEO and handing the reigns over to a veteran executive from Coach, Francine Della Badia. He is remaining as Chairman of the brand, but hopes Della Badia will further the charge in Bonobos’ growth strategy. The current challenge for the brand lies in combining its online sales with a physical location that people can visit and try the clothes, with the pre-existing bricks-and-mortar store set-up not fitting with the company’s vision.
“It felt like no matter how good we got at the internet driven part of what we do, if you can’t try it on and figure out exactly what your fit is we’d be missing something,” Dunn told The Street. “The traditional retail model doesn’t allow for good service and styling, it just becomes a hectic battle against restocking inventory.”
So Bonobos removed all its inventory, creating its first ‘guideshop’. The Guideshops are small shops with one-on-one customer service – clients are walked through what’s available, helped to figure out their size, and then can place an online order. They leave the store empty handed and the clothes arrive at their home the next day free of charge, with returns also covered. Bonobos now has 16 guideshops across the US plus a partnership with Nordstrom to sell its products in its department stores.
“What e-commerce has done is separated the moment of transaction from the moment of actually receiving the goods,” said Dunn. “What that enables you to do is envision a store that isn’t actually about the verb ‘to store’ inventory, but it’s about delivering great service.”
But with so many new retailers like Trunk Club and Mr Porter bombarding male shoppers with ever cheaper and more convenient options, the big question is whether the men’s market is hitting saturation point?
Senior Retail Analyst from Cowen & Company Oliver Chen thinks not, citing a growing interest in different styles and more relaxed office dress codes. “I think there’s a lot of growth potential ahead,” he told The Street. “There’s opportunity for this to continue to be a very healthy market.”
With the first ever New York Fashion Week for men kicking off next month, the menswear market is set to be this season’s hottest trend.
Source : powerretail.com.au