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How to kick-start your market research using the menswear sector figures

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Global Men’s Clothing Industry Analysis


The world market for menswear is expected to exceed $402 billion in 2014, according to research from MarketLine. This represents market expansion of over 14% during a five-year period. The leading segment within the menswear industry is comprised of clothing and footwear specialists, which represents close to 60% of the overall market in terms of value. The Americas represent almost 35% of the global market.


Companies operating on the global menswear market try to build and maintain a strong consumer base through brand loyalty. This means extensive marketing and heavy PR campaigns are necessary for companies to hold on to their market share to ward off new entrants to the market, which already has a large number of players.


The menswear market encompasses different categories and styles of clothing including essentials, outerwear, formalwear, casualwear and activewear. Men’s clothing constantly evolves, with colors, patterns and fabrics coming in and out of fashion depending on trends. Men’s clothing is linked with social status, with different clothing styles being adopted depending on a men’s shifting positions in society.


Key Market Segments


  • The world men’s jeans market has been increasing marginally over recent years, exceeding 115 million in volume sales in 2010. Economy jeans value sales fell 3% to remain under $3 billion in 2010. This was due partly to a consumer shift to discount alternatives and aggressive pricing practices.


  • Men’s outerwear, apart from jeans, has been rising slightly after two declining years. Growth was seen in several sectors, but men’s shorts, trousers and tops lead the men’s outerwear segment volume sales.


  • The US men’s neckwear manufacturing industry recorded 2010 sales of almost $204 million, according to research from Supplier Relations. Gross profit for 2010 was estimated at close to 26%. The US imported men’s neckwear products from almost 55 different countries in 2010, with an overall value of almost $223 million. The US exported men’s neckwear products to just over 45 different countries, with an overall value of more than $13.5 million. Total US domestic demand in 2010 therefore came to just over $413 million. The most common products in this category are neckties, along with mufflers and scarves.


  • Demand for men’s suits is largely affected by economic activity. As employment fell during the economic recession, demand for suits also declined, with many potential consumers facing unemployment and lower levels of disposable income. Companies have looked to mergers and acquisitions to grow their market share and diversify product lines. Even in times of economic recession, suits represent close to 35% of the overall men’s clothing market. 



Regional Markets


China is forecast to record the fastest market growth in the menswear industry among the five leading developing nations of South Africa, Mexico, India, China and Brazil, reports MarketLine. China’s menswear industry is expected to generate sales of close to $78,000 million in 2014.


Throughout the early part of the economic recession, the UK menswear market saw demand fall more rapidly than demand for women’s and children’s clothing, according to Verdict. In 2010, menswear expenditure rose by almost 5%, which was partly due to price inflation. Marks & Spencer is the number-one company operating in the UK menswear market, holding more than 10% of the overall market. The company has, however, seen its market share fall, mainly due to competition from grocers in sales of clothing basics and entry price-point merchandise.



Industry Leaders


Key players in the global men’s clothing industry include: Armani, Levi’s, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Nike, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, andErmenegildo Zegna.



Market Outlook


As the economic environment improves slowly, the global men’s clothing industry will begin to pick up. However, this will likely be a slow process, and companies will therefore be obliged to look for solutions such as consolidation to survive.


Companies will be obliged to step-up marketing efforts to foster and maintain consumer loyalty. Product differentiation will also remain a key element moving forward. Inflation will push prices higher, which may well have shoppers straying from their favorite brands to look for discount alternatives.



Leading Industry Associations




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