Men’s luxury sales climb despite low overall demand

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Men’s luxury sales climb despite low overall demand

The coronavirus isn’t stopping men from buying more luxury products.

Sales growth for men’s luxury items surpassed that of women at Shinsegae Department Stores in April, the company said Thursday.

Sales of men’s luxury items rose 11.1 percent on year from April 1 through April 13 - far greater than the overall 3.3 percent sales growth in luxury items during the same period.

Most luxury products are marketed toward women.

Sales of men’s luxury items jumped despite an overall drop in department store sales, which declined 13 percent on year.

Sales of men’s fashion, excluding luxury stores, decreased 21.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

“The coronavirus is restricting people’s daily routines, but that isn’t stopping people with purchasing power to buy luxury items,” said Chung-Ang University economics Professor Lee Jung-hee. “The increasingly ambiguous line between women’s and men’s beauty, affected by [male] pop stars, also affected the trend.”

The growth was fueled mainly by men in their 20s and 40s, according to Shinsegae’s data.

While men in their 30s accounted for 37.8 percent of the overall luxury sales, those in their 20s increased their purchases of men’s luxury goods by 53.6 percent.

Likewise, the sales of those goods to men in their 40s grew by 48.1 percent.

Shinsegae dedicated an entire floor to men’s luxury brands at its main store in central Seoul, along with the Gangnam branch in southern Seoul.

It uses smaller spaces for those products in its other department stores.

Sales from men have increased since the department store chain introduced the men’s luxury section. Shinsegae said men only accounted for 28.1 percent of the department store’s sales in 2010, before the men-specific sections opened. Last year, men’s sales accounted for 35.8 percent.

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