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For all those jibes about shopping, Indian men buy more clothes than women

Reuters/Desmond Boylan
Men buy more.
By Diksha Madhok
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

You can now stop forwarding that tired Whatsapp joke about women’s penchant for shopping and clothes. The data can’t stand that joke.

The men’s apparel market in India is worth nearly $2 billion (Rs 12,000 crore) more than that of women, a study by retail consultant Technopak has shown. In comparison, the total sales for men’s apparel in the US is half that of women’s clothes.

The total size of the men’s apparel market in the subcontinent is worth about $17.3 billion (Rs 104,000 crore), whereas the women’s segment is sized at $15.5 billion(Rs 93,000 crore). On the other hand, U.S. men’s apparel market registered total sales of $60 billion dollars in 2013 and women’s clocked $116 billion.

“In India, spending in women’s apparel in rural areas and smaller cities is comparatively lower than men’s apparel,” said Amit Gugnani, senior vice president, fashion, at Technopak.

“However, it is expected that with increasing urbanization and increasing participation of women in workforce, women’s apparel market will continue to grow faster than men’s market,” he added. During 2013-14, the market for women’s clothes grew at 10%, marginally more than men’s, which grew at 9%.

When it comes to women’s clothing, sarees and salwar kameez had the biggest share of the market in 2013. For men, ethnic wear is rather unpopular, instead shorts and trousers lead the way.

Growth Rate

For men, the fastest growing segments are denims and T-shirts at 14% and 12%, respectively.

Although the traditional saree dominates the women’s market right now, it had the slowest growth rate in 2013. Inner wear and western clothes registered the highest growth at 15% and 13% respectively, indicating a shift in preferences.

And as young India become more urbanised and aspirational, expect these categories to grow further in the coming years.

The size of the Indian apparel retail market was $41billion (Rs 227,000 crores) in 2013.

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