Mens wear retail sales grew 5% to $60.8bn in the US last year

Men's wear retail sales grew 5% to $60.8bn in the US last year

Product innovation, changing fashion perceptions, and colder weather all combined to help retail sales of men's apparel outstrip women's wear in the US last year, according to new research.

Latest figures from The NPD Group show that while women's apparel retail sales were up 4% to US$116.4bn last year, men's wear grew 5% to $60.8bn. 

This was primarily thanks to double-digit gains in sales of men's outerwear (+12%), pants (+12%, and socks (+14%). Of the 13 categories tracked by NPD, only men's tops saw a decline in sales (-2%).

"Innovation and men's perception of fashion contributed to an increase in spending in 2013," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group. 

"Another notable reason for the rise included colder than usual weather conditions, which helped the sales of men's outerwear grow 12%."

Most channels benefited from total men's apparel sales in 2013, NPD said. Website purchases, which represented 14% of men's apparel sales, saw some of the highest year-on-year growth - increasing 19% over 2012.

The average price of an in-store purchase grew 3% for men's apparel, while online declined 7%.

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