As men spend more, retailers roll out new services

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As men spend more, retailers roll out new services

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Club Monaco’s newly opened men’s store, complete with a barbershop, at Lotte Department Store’s central Seoul branch. Provided by the retailer

Local retailers are paying more attention to male customers, whose spending has been steadily rising even as the economy stumbles.

Lotte Department Store says it will open a branch of U.S. premium retailer Club Monaco that offers only men’s apparel and accessories, and will also include a branch of upscale barbershop Herr.

The store is located in Lotte’s main branch in Myeong-dong and opened Friday.

Measuring around 132 square meters (1,421 square feet), the men’s shop will sell Club Monaco threads alongside shaving and hair grooming products and tools.

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Herr, which also has a location in Hannam-dong, will offer styling advice, haircuts and shaving services. A cut will cost 35,000 won ($31.80), while perms and hair coloring will run 100,000 won. A “traditional” shaving service is priced at 30,000 won and a scalp massage will be 80,000 won. It also offers an “anti-hangover” massage for 25,000 won.

“Club Monaco men’s shop is reflective of the growing number of men who care about fashion and grooming,” said Park Byeong-gi, the floor manager at Lotte Department Store’s main branch.

“The store aims to offer both shopping and entertainment for men. We plan to increase these kinds of spaces where male shoppers can have fun.”

The store follows a string of efforts by Lotte to attract more male shoppers, whose visits to Lotte stores have grown an annual average of 10 percent in the last few years. They also account for 30 percent of overall sales at Lotte.

Men’s cosmetics specialty store Et;G and camera shop El Camera opened last year, and men’s accessories store David Collection was renovated earlier this year.

Meanwhile, discount retailer E-Mart has unveiled men’s cosmetic brand Solutian, created in collaboration with a famous perfumer Christian Provenzano.

The Solutian Gentlemen brand is derived from camellia oleifera seed oil, and is targeted at men in their 30s to 50s. Its 200-milliliter (6.8-ounce) shaving gel is priced 9,900 won, and 120 milliliter skin toner 11,900 won.

The Korean market for men’s cosmetics is one of the largest in the world, and Korean men spend more per capita on grooming products than anywhere else as of 2014, according to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute.

At E-Mart, sales of men’s skin care products rose 29.8 percent year-on-year in 2014, and its sales from January through May of this year grew 53.9 percent compared with the same period last year.

“Years back, it was usually younger men who were interested in skin care and beauty products,” said an E-Mart spokeswoman. “But nowadays, all men are seeing that their appearance gives them a competitive edge.”

“Men have emerged as big spenders in the skin care market, and we plan to offer a more diverse line of skin care products for men,” said Yoon Young-gil, household products buyer at E-Mart.


BY PARK JUNG-YOUN [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]

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