China’s Menswear Market (Quietly) Booming

Driven By Male Consumers, Calvin Klein Expects To Maintain 50 Percent Growth In 2012

Home-grown Chinese menswear brand Sundance hopes to move up the value chain

Home-grown Chinese menswear brand Sundance hopes to move up the value chain

As some of the more ambitious home-grown Chinese menswear brands start to look overseas for new markets, international brands are finding ever greater success in China. Though fashion consumption in China is rising among women, and womenswear now accounts for approximately 54 percent of total spending on fashion among adult urban consumers to menswear’s 46 percent, greater emphasis on personal appearance and professional (and romantic) pressure means menswear remains a strong segment. This week, China Daily looks at the country’s fast-growing menswear market, which for some companies is becoming a far more profitable segment than womenswear despite getting less press.

From the article:

“In China, which is a little bit unique compared with most other places in the world, we do more men’s than women’s business,” said Tom Murry, president and chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Inc, part of the US shirt maker Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.

“While in the United States, our women’s business is 2.5 times bigger than the men’s.”

Helen Chen, chief representative of PYE, a retail brand of one of the world’s largest shirt manufacturing companies, the Esquel Group, had this to say: “In recent years, our sales of men’s shirts have grown faster than women’s and we are providing more choices regarding fabrics and designs for men.”

Back to Murry: “I think there are two factors at work. China is an emerging market and more men than women are working in China, so men buy more clothes to go to work. At the same time the government is driving a lot of business because it hires more men than women.”

A report by Frost & Sullivan, a US consulting firm, said the development of China’s garment manufacturing industry is already quite mature but is still maintaining a high growth rate. In 2008, the market value of the men’s garment sector in China amounted to approximately 260 billion yuan ($40.87 billion). The figure jumped to 348 billion yuan in 2010 and it is expected to maintain a 16.9 percent annual growth rate. The report said that in 2015 the market value might exceed 700 billion yuan.

The Chinese menswear market is massive because the country has a huge population, fast economic development, growing urbanization, increasing living standards and rising personal incomes. All these factors benefit the healthy development of the garment industry in China, according to the report.