Here’s a confession: I’ve never been in a salon, or a spa. I’ve never had anything professionally pluck or shaved – bar a few zeros off my bank balance thanks to Miuccia Prada twice a year.
Increasingly, that puts me in the minority. Because the male grooming business is booming.
Mrporter.com, the high-end menswear etailer, reported a 300 per cent growth in men’s beauty and grooming products in 2015, a category it only added to the site two years ago. But 2013 was a bellwether, the first year men spent more money on male-specific toiletries than on shaving products.
The market is still growing. The top 10 boom markets for men’s toiletries since 2010 include Brazil, South Korea, the US, Germany, India and, yes, the UK. In China, another of that top 10, year-on-year growth has exceeded 20 per cent over the same period.
That’s a wide territory, and pretty impressive figures. You understand why people are excited by, and focusing on, a world market whose value is estimated to top £14.8bn this year. “It’s been growing significantly,” says Elodie Bohuon, Selfridges beauty buyer, of the men’s grooming market. “Men are starting to get more and more knowledgeable about beauty and are paying attention to their looks: haircare is the biggest category, with shaving coming second.” However, she does allow that: “Women still play a very important role in that market. A very big percentage of women are still buying men’s grooming lines as gifts, or on behalf of partners.”
I wonder if there’s still some kind of social stigma to a man paying too much attention to his looks – is there still the notion that a “real” man wouldn’t wear moisturiser?
Interestingly, it’s borne out by certain statistics – such as the fact that men are more likely than women to search for and buy toiletries online. According to Mintel, online sales of men’s toiletries increased 3.4 per cent to £30m in 2013, taking a five per cent share of retail sales. Hence the fact that mrporter.com is making a quiet killing. “We saw the huge success with beauty on the Net-a-porter side, knew the men’s grooming category was growing overall, so recognised that it was a category with a lot of growth potential,” says David Olsen, the vice-president of beauty for both websites.
Read the full article here.
Image via vainstylemag.com