The menswear market is growing, fast.
High street giant New Look has noticed, and this morning confirmed that it will launch standalone menswear stores in the UK, the first five of which will open by the end of the current financial year.
The fast fashion retailer has been experimenting with menswear, through new ranges and store-in-store concepts at Oxford Circus and other locations. New Look has also recruited Christopher Englinde from H&M as its Menswear Director, who will join in September.
In a bid to grow market share, Britain’s second largest women’s retailer will open menswear only stores in Portsmouth, Wigan and the Trafford Centre in the first instance.
“Menswear is a key strategic priority for New Look, and the opening of menswear standalone stores represents a natural next step for us,” comments Roger Wightman, Chief Creative Office. “We are very proud of the improvements made to our offer over the past two years – the opening of menswear standalone stores will allow us to more fully showcase the enhanced quality of our product ranges.”
The new focus is happening under the leadership of CEO Anders Kristiansen, who prior to joining New Look, was Vice Chief Exec of Bestseller – the Danish parent company of menswear brand Jack & Jones. The announcement was made this morning as the company recorded that revenue grew 4.3% to £369.8m for the first quarter.
“These strong results demonstrate New Look’s ongoing progress during a quarter in which we have changed ownership and refinanced the business,” said Kristiansen. “Further UK sales growth is particularly encouraging, whilst our latest successful store openings in China ensure our expansion plans continue on track,” he added.
In recent years, male consumers have been outspending female consumers on items such as shoes, and Verdict retail predicts that menswear expenditure growth will exceed womenswear next year, reaching around £11.1bn. Retailers have caught on, investing heavily in the sector. Last year, Zara opened its first store dedicated to menswear – a 200,000 sq ft space in Birmingham, and there is speculation that premium retailer Whistles will follow suit.