Do men need their own retail environments? Do brands typically associated with the female consumer need to rebrand to reach men?
This week saw the first opening of an UGG for Men store on Madison Avenue in New York.
The first dedicated UGG for Men location in the world selling the full men’s collection, it shows how serious UGG is taking the men’s market.
“UGG for Men has grown into a stand-alone line that deserves its own storefront,” says Connie Rishwain, President, UGG Australia. “Men requested their own dedicated space and we’re excited to give them just that.”
Design elements feature a fusion of engineering and style taken from the worlds of aviation, sailing and motorcycle culture. The store also features custom designed lights from Denmark that resemble classic motorbike headlamps. Rounding out the look, textures of natural stone, honed quarter cut oiled oak and bomber jacket leather are also incorporated into the décor.
Another footwear brand which felt the need for a dedicated men’s space is Jimmy Choo. Opened in London’s Burlington Arcade last year, its masculine, grey interior is in strong contrast to the pink carpeted femininity of the main stores. Relatively new to Jimmy Choo, men’s products are a growing market and with the rise of the male Chinese consumer a hugely profitable area.
Brands are finding that when turning their attention to men, not only does the product need to change but also the packaging, retail environments and the perception of the brand. Being strong in a certain area, such as women’s footwear, will take time for men to connect to the brand. These dedicated male retail environments allow men to immerse themselves in the brand without being distracted by the female connotations.