Menswear grows in USA but is still behind womenswear

Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Data collated by The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, revealed that total men’s apparel retail sales in the US reached 60.8 billion dollars in 2013. Meanwhile, total sales of womenswear hit 116.4 billion dollars.

Growth wise, menswear sales noted a slightly higher improvement year-on-year. While masculine attire sales added a 5 percent over the 57.8 billion dollars generated in 2012, thanks in large part to double-digit gains in sales of men’s outerwear, trousers, and socks; the US women’s apparel market grew 4 percent.

Of the 13 categories tracked by NPD in men's apparel, 12 experienced dollar sales increases in 2013, including trousers, with sales increasing 12 percent to 4.8 billion dollars and socks, which grew by 14 percent to 2.8 billion dollars. The only category to experience dollar sales declines was men's tops, which saw sales drop 2 percent.

“Innovation and men’s perception of fashion contributed to an increase in spending in 2013,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Another notable reason for the rise included colder than usual weather conditions, which helped the sales of men's outerwear grow 12 percent.”

Most channels benefited from total men’s apparel sales in 2013. Strong sock and trousers sales influenced the increase at speciality stores, while outerwear trended sales upward at department stores and mass merchants, summed up the analysis team at NPD.

It is also noteworthy that US clothing stores are more profitable than they have been in years, even as sales growth has slowed, according to an analysis recently released by Sageworks, a financial information company.

Net profit margin at privately held clothing stores, on average, was nearly 7 percent in 2013, or roughly double the margin of each of the previous two years, according to Sageworks’ industry analysis. Sales, meanwhile, grew about 5 percent in 2013, compared with nearly 7 percent and 9 percent growth in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Net profit margins at publicly traded clothing retailers over the last several years, meanwhile, have been steady, at around 5 percent.