Men's ready-to-wear refers to mass-produced men's outerwear and underwear that is presented on a seasonal basis. It also includes accessories for men (e.g. bags, satchels, hats, scarves, gloves). In 2010, the men's ready-to-wear production and distribution market generated sales of €5.6 billion, representing 17% of the ready-to-wear sector in France. It also accounted for 18% of French exports and 30% of French imports of ready-to-wear. After a mixed and rather disappointing year in 2016, the men's ready to wear segment was expected to return to growth in early 2018, with at least +1% growth expected.
The men's ready-to-wear market developed more slowly than the women's ready-to-wear market but still showed significant growth. According to a study by the French Institute, of Fashion it has held up relatively well in the recession.
However, men's ready-to-wear retailers face many challenges, including soaring raw materials prices, rising wages for Chinese workers and household trade-offs against spending on clothing. Specialized chains such as Celio or Jules are thus increasingly challenged by the arrival of foreign operators such as Uniqlo or Abercrombie & Fitch. As a result, they multiply their points of sale, offer their products on the Internet (like Asos and Next) and opt for precision trading whilst turning to hypersegmentation strategies. Clothing customization is on the rise. Also, more than women, men seek to consume less often but by buying quality products, long term, even if it means paying a higher price. Mass production brands (such as Celio and Devred) have set up processes to boost their collections and attract customers to their stores. Brands like H&M and Zara account for 40% of the market, thanks to the densification of their store network and the frequent renewal of collections. Pure players are focusing on a more qualitative offer, including a high-quality reception and excellent advice in store.
However, market players are benefiting from new male fashion behaviours and the rise of male luxury, which is growing at twice the rate of female luxury. Men's fashion thus accounted for 41% of luxury fashion sales in 2012. The development strategy consists in being multi-channel, focusing on online fashion, given the explosion in e-commerce figures. Nevertheless, men buy less online than women (6% of men compared to 15% of women), so the change in purchasing behaviour and habits is a little slower.
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