High Streets Initiative · 6 November 2017

Retailers expand male product offering as men become UK’s biggest spenders

Men are now spending more than women on grooming products and treatments
Men are now spending more than women on grooming products and treatments
Almost seven in ten online retailers have increased the scale of theirmale product range in the last five years, as new research debunks the myth that female shoppers are spending more on UK high streets and online.

After polling over 2, 000 adults, Barclaycard found that British men spend more on clothes, shoes and grooming products each month compared to women, despite common assumptions around fashion and cosmetics sales.

Both on the high street and online, retailers have experienced an uplift in men’s product sales, by 59 per cent and 69 per cent respectively, in the last five years.

Data from Barclaycard revealed where monthly spend was most concentrated between the two groups

Item Male (GBP) Female (GBP)
Clothes £67.10 £53.90
Shoes £46.90 £34.80
Beauty/grooming products £40.90 £35.30
Beauty/grooming treatments £39.30 £37.10
Eating out at restaurants £77.60 £54.00
Drinks with friends £60.30 £32.50
Tickets to sports matches £40.50 £23.60
Electronics £77.20 £50.70
Retailers could be benefitting from trends that suggest men are considerable less likely to return an item than women. According to Barclaycard’s research, just a quarter of returns processed by retailers were from male shoppers, with female counterparts not only spending less, but also three times more likely to return an item.

However, there were a number of factors preventing men from fully embracing the in-store shopping experience. The most common frustration was not being able to find their size in stock, followed by crowded stores and having to queue at the checkout. Some four in ten even said five minutes was the longest theyd wait before leaving the store.

Subsequently, men were much more likely to prefer shopping online than women, with an almost 50/50 split in favouring in-store or ecommerce. Two-thirds of retailers claimed Facebook had been the most successful tool in generating online sales from male shoppers.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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