Retail Sales, Website Purchases of Men's Apparel on the Rise

Total men’s apparel U.S. retail sales reached $60.8 billion in 2013, a 5% increase over the $57.8 billion generated in 2012, thanks in large part to double-​digit gains in sales of men’s outerwear, pants, and socks. In contrast, the U.S. women’s apparel market grew 4% with total sales of $116.4 billion dollars, according to The NPD Group.

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

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%.”


Most channels benefited from total men’s apparel sales in 2013. Strong sock and pants sales influenced the increase at specialty stores, while outerwear trended sales upward at department stores and mass merchants.

Website purchases, which represented 14% of men’s apparel sales, saw some of the highest growth for the year, increasing 19% over 2012. Also noteworthy is the fact that the average price of an in-​store purchase grew 3% for men’s apparel, while online declined 7%.

To remain competitive, brick-​and-​mortar retailers must step up their game,” said Cohen. “They need to disregard antiquated marketing and sales strategies, and adjust their tactics to better accommodate the whims of online shoppers, including the development of more dynamic pricing models, enhancing selections, and addressing convenience.”

Ad-​ology Research has discovered that approximately 28% of likely men's apparel buyers are divorced, which is significantly higher compared to the average consumer.  This audience is also considerably more likely to support companies that sponsor a favorite sports team or athlete.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.