New York, NY, United States (AHN) – Men are at it again. They are buying more–for themselves.
The male shopper, who laid low at the onset of the recession, is back. He is buying more and spending more, and retailers are delighted.
Men are not just purchasing suits, dress shirts, ties and shoes. They are rivaling their female counterparts by loading up on accessories. They are buying bracelets, bags, hats, umbrella, belts, scarves, pocket squares, caps, metal cuffs –you name it.
Some industry forecasters predict sales growth for men’s clothing and accessories during the first three months of 2012 will set a 20-year high.
In a move to make traditional women’s accessories more appealing to men, some designers are giving them manly monikers. A bracelet is dubbed wristwear, and a purse is called a holdall.
Men were well represented at last week’s New York Fashion Week, and male adornments took center stage.
Spending on accessories is driving the men’s category. In the last half of 2011, sales grew 14 percent to about $6 billion, according to market research firm NPD Group. The trend is expected to continue.
The return of the male shopper could help pick up retail sales. And, the rebound in male shopping may also bode well for the unemployment rate. It may reflect an improved jobs picture for men.