PORT WASHINGTON, NY — Global information company NPD Group, Inc. reports that for the first time in many years, US sales for men’s wear have outpaced those for ladies’ wear year over year, registering a 5 percent increase from $57.8 billion in 2012 to $60.8 billion in 2013.

Women’s apparel, on the other hand, grew just 4 percent; but sales are still way ahead with total sales of $116.4 billion. The NPD Group has cited all channels — from retailers to wholesalers, off-price suppliers and department stores — have all benefitted from the uptick in sales.

With outwear, pants and socks registering double-digit gains, men’s apparel sales are fuelled in large part by the cold weather of recent past, explains Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD.

Cohen said “innovation and men’s perception of fashion contributed to an increase in spending in 2013. Another notable reason for the rise included colder than usual weather conditions, which helped the sales of men’s outerwear grow 12 percent.”

The group has also reported that total apparel sales get proportionately distributed across all channels, with each one of them benefitting in the growth. This includes retailers, wholesalers, drop-shippers, as well as membership clubs. Specialty stores, moreover, are seen to have benefitted from the rise in sales for socks.

Between online and offline shopping, additionally, the trend is upward. “Website purchases, which represented 14 percent of men’s apparel sales, saw some of the highest growth for the year, increasing 19 percent over 2012. Also noteworthy is the fact that the average price of an in-store purchase grew 3 percent for men’s apparel, while online declined 7 percent.”

The group has tracked a total of 13 categories in men’s apparel industry, and has found sales in 12 of them increasing this year. The only product subcategory that has seen a decline in sales is men’s tops, which drops 2 percent in sales from 2012.

“To remain competitive, brick-and-mortar retailers must step up their game,” added 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.”

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