No, it’s not your imagination. There are fewer and fewer independent men’s clothing shops out there on Main Street. “The number of men’s shops has definitely gone down,” says Karen Alberg-Grossman, editor-in-chief of men’s apparel publication MR Magazine.
According to Stu Nifoussi, executive vice president of Business Journals, Inc. and publisher of MR Magazine, there are around 30,000 women’s fashion boutiques nationwide and only 5,000 men’s shops. Why so many fewer stores for men? “Men are not, by nature, shoppers,” says Alberg-Grossman, “and there is less fashion in the men’s market—most men wear fairly conservative clothing that is meant to last. In contrast, women’s fashions have a built-in obsolescence.”
Ken Giddon of Larchmont, owner of Rothman’s, a Scarsdale outpost of the Manhattan men’s store he founded in 1986, concurs. “Men just don’t enjoy shopping like women do,” he says. “My customer wants to get a lot of stuff at once as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Says Alberg-Grossman, “Men typically shop for clothes four times a year, whereas women are in stores about every other week. They shop when they’re happy, and they shop when they’re depressed.”