Shopping Habits Becoming Less Gender-Specific

The preconceived notion of women taking a more vested interest in their shopping than men do appears to be going out the window.

According to The Wall Street Journal, male consumers are increasingly adopting a less utilitarian approach to shopping — in particular for fashion — and instead are conducting themselves in a manner that had previously been associated only with their female counterparts.

Among other observations from the fashion industry regarding men’s evolving shopping habits, the outlet cites a section of a new report from Euromonitor International on the global male consumer that is entitled “Decision-making begins to imitate women’s.”

“Traditionally men’s path to purchase has been more linear than women’s, adopting a more utilitarian approach, considering all options rationally and weighing up alternatives based on price and quality,” Ildiko Szalai, senior analyst of Beauty and Personal Care at Euromonitor, wrote in the report. “As men become more concerned about how they look, what they wear and products they use, their decision-making is beginning to imitate women’s.”

The WSJ story observes that the increased level of accessibility to eCommerce that men are afforded, in particular through mobile devices, appears to have activated among male consumers an increased level of interest in new products, brands, as well as a propensity to browse more often than the gender had in the past.

Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s at Barneys New York, shared with the outlet that he has seen men taking an “eclectic approach of mixing high with low, new with vintage or even street with formal,” adding that “trends play a large part in what influences the shopping patterns of men.”

He further attests that the Internet and social media have “transformed the average guy who once shopped for replacement items into an aficionado and maybe even an expert.”

Fashion retailers, The WSJ story puts forth, are responding to this change in consumer behavior by integrating male-centric elements into their shopping experiences. Among those examples: some of Club Monaco’s men’s stores now feature bars, coffee shops, bookstores or a barbershop; Saks Fifth Avenue is planning to open a men’s-only store in New York City next year; and H&M will, for the first time, launch an H&M Studio collection for men.


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