New Look will open standalone men’s stores this year to further grow its market share in the menswear industry.
In a job advert for a senior menswear merchandiser based in London, the retailer said: ”This is a really exciting time for menswear at New Look. We’re looking to grow our market share and will be opening our first standalone menswear stores this year, as well as continuing to grow and improve the product range.”
The first stores will be in Portsmouth, Wigan and the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
New Look has previously identified menswear as one of the retailer’s key strategic priorities, alongside international growth (in China in particular), multichannel, new product development and branding.
Drapers understands menswear currently accounts for approximately 4% of New Look’s sales, while its competitors sit at around 9%.
In June, the retailer’s chief executive Anders Kristiansen said he expects menswear sales to increase by 25% over the next 12 months.
He told Drapers the company would be rolling out a new concept that includes separate entrances for the men’s and womenswear sections in some stores.
“One of New Look’s challenges has been getting a male consumer through the door rather than a female consumer shopping for their brothers or boyfriends so this is a good move to speak directly to that audience, providing they get the branding and publicity right,” said Anusha Couttigane, senior fashion consultant at Conlumino.
“There is a risk involved as a standalone store represents more of an investment than a dual fascia store of course, but it could pay off as menswear will be the fastest growing sector in the next five years so now is the right time to do it,” added Honor Westnedge, lead retail analyst at retail consultancy Verdict.
“New Look menswear stores will offer an easier shopping experience than Primark and H&M, and convenience is key for male shoppers, and they’ll be undercutting the likes of Topman and River Island in terms of price so it could work well.”
A spokesman for New Look declined to provide further details on the menswear store launch.