16 | www.retailenvironments.org RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS july.august.2015
shop online they just type what they want, they get the
direct answer, and they make a purchase right away. If they
can have a private interaction, private shopping without having to wander from shop to shop, [retailers] might actually
make guys enjoy the experience,” he adds.
Others don’t think men need any more convincing, however. Some believe men are already enjoying the shopping
experience in ways akin to female shoppers.
“Men do shop more for themselves now, and they are
shopping more like women like to shop with their friends
as a social activity,” says Charles Sparks, president and CEO
of Charles Sparks + Co. in Westchester, Ill. He suggests that
men are even shopping for pleasure and as a creative outlet
the same way women do.
“Men are basically just falling in line. They’re not as afraid
to do that as they may have been in years past,” he says.
As a result of the steady increase in men’s sales, retailers
including J. Crew, Ugg, and Saks Fifth Avenue are not only
rethinking men’s departments, but also are building completely separate spaces to accommodate a new breed of shopper, according to a recent Business Insider article. “Retailers
are putting a lot of thought into the layouts of these spaces
too—think: places to sit, darker colors, gadgets, and reading
material lying around,” the article notes.
In other words, brick-and-mortar shops are evolving into
a kind of hybrid between a man cave and a social club where
man can also buy their favorite items. To that end, international cigar brand Dunhill opened up a stylish gentlemen’s
tobacco lounge in London where customers can purchase a
private humidor, enjoy a casual cup of coffee, host business
meetings, attend catered events, and of course, learn about
the fine art of smoking stogies, according to Insel. Similarly,
she points out that Lexus introduced a series of branded
Intersect Lounges around the world (in Tokyo, New York,
and Dubai to date), which blend the best parts of a hotel
lounge, art space, café, and retail shop with a car dealership.
“It’s all about getting like-minded people and like-minded
brands into one lounge area,” Insel says.
To do that, retailers are doing more than just selling
products—they are promoting lifestyles and building social
communities both online and through in-store and out-of-store events to promote the brand, according to McCormick.
“It’s all about getting like-minded
people and like-minded brands
into one lounge area.”
Leveraging men’s penchant for technology and solution-oriented shopping, UnSPACE designed this first My.Suit
store, on NYC’s Madison Avenue, based on its website
customer experience. Today, five offline stores complement
the brand’s online presence.