British men are now spending more per month on fashion and grooming than women but still many say they don’t enjoy shopping with a fifth preferring to mow the lawn than visit the shops.
According to new research from Barclaycard the average male is now spending £114 per month on clothing and shoes, compared to £88.60 for women. They also spend an average of £40.90 on grooming products compared to women’s £35.30.
Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, says men’s outlay on fashion and grooming by far exceeds their spending on leisure activities such as sporting events (£40.50) and eating out at restaurants (£77.60).
However men still don’t like going to the shops with 21% saying they would prefer to mow the lawn and 9% saying they would prefer to visit the dentist than go to the shops.
Of the 2,038 men who took part in an online survey, nearly half said they preferred to shop online than go in-store with top in-store frustrations being not having product in their size (42%), crowded stores (36%) and having to queue (35%).
Research among retailers also shows that they perhaps don’t understand the male shopper as much as they believe they do. Of 250 merchants interviewed for the study 66% felt that men needed more advice and help when shopping in store but 82% of men said they would actually prefer to be left alone to shop.
“It’s eye opening to see the tension between men spending more money on shopping and grooming, but still not enjoying the experience. Even though they spend more on shopping than having beers with friends or watching their favourite footie team, the idea of retail therapy is still lost on British men,” said Barclaycard Payment Solutions head of strategy George Allardice.
“We know that retailers are increasingly becoming savvy to men spending more on clothing and grooming, and so have been increasingly expanding their male offering over the past few years. However retailers need to continue to innovate to ensure the whole shopping experience is as enjoyable for men as it is for women – whether that’s online, mobile or instore. Simple changes such as ensuring a wide range of sizes are stocked and reducing queues at the till could lead to an increase of men shopping ‘til they drop,” Allardice added.
When asked how the overall shopping experience could be improved, both men and women agreed that shopping would be more enjoyable if they could buy items directly from the rack to avoid queues at the tills (20%) and nearly a fifth (18%) would like to be able to use virtual reality technology see if an item fitted or suited them without having to try it on. Men also account for far fewer returns than women with only 26% of all returns processed by retailers made by men and the balance made by women.