Who says men don’t like shopping? Figures from retail research firm Mintel suggest 57pc of men aged 16 to 24 have bought designer clothing in the past three years, compared to 48pc of women the same age. Designer jeans, shirts, t-shirts and polo shirts are the items that are attracting the highest spend among young male consumers, while Armani and Ralph Lauren are the most desirable luxury brands. Gucci and Prada are the most desirable luxury fashion brands among women, the research indicated.
The fashion industry has long coveted male shoppers, with a number of analysts estiamting that men will continue to spend more on clothing and shoes over the next five years. The UK menswear market grew 18pc between 2008 and 2013, outperforming growth in womenswear of 4.6pc.
The research flagged up differences in why men and women buy designer clothes. Some 28pc of men are willing to splash out because they are drawn to the high quality of designer fashion pieces, while women tend to buy with a special occasion in mind.
Customer service is becoming an increasingly important tool for enticing male shoppers. Compared to women and gentlemen of other age groups, young men are much more attracted to the attentive shopping experience offered by designer brands.
Male shoppers are also significantly more likely than their female counterparts to choose to buy designer brands to keep up with a new fashion trend and to own an item from a specific label, said the report’s authors.
Young women are the keenest buyers of designer fashion accessories. Almost one in four adult women under the age of 24 have bought these kinds of designer items in the last three years. Handbags are the most popular choice, followed by designer jewellery and watches.
Michael Kors is the most desired handbag brand among under-25s, with 17pc of young women saying they want to own a handbag by the designer.
Louis Vuitton topped women’s wishlists overall. However, the designer label is more popular among older age groups, with 21pc of women aged 35 to 54 aspiring to own the brand.
“Designer brands need to increasingly look at ways of attracting a new younger demographic of millennials who aspire to buy their brands. There is potential to launch less expensive sub-brands and to expand fashion accessory ranges to include items such as smartphone and iPad cases and headphones, which are popular among young people,” said Tamara Sender, a fashion analyst at Mintel.
The report warned of a slowdown in visitors to the UK, which could dampen luxury sales. In the year to March, there was a 7pc fall in the number of Chinese visitors, who are typically among the highest spenders of luxury goods. Separate data from VisitBritain suggested over 185,000 Chinese visitors came to the UK last year, a fall of 7.6pc on 2013.
However, the authors added that recent changes to China visa rules, which extend multiple entry standard visitor visas from six months to two years, should encourage more high-spending Chinese tourists to the UK.
Visits from other high-spending tourists, such as those from the UAE, dropped 11pc last year, while visitor numbers from Saudi Arabia were down 7pc in the year to March.
By Elizabeth Anderson Courtesy The Telegraph