Despite claims of global warming, sales of men’s cold weather outwear was hot in 2012.
Driven by multifunction design trends, say industry insiders, outerwear sales for the 12 months ending in September rose 6.1 percent to $4.05 billion compared to $3.82 billion for the same period last year, according to data from The NPD Group.
Retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and stores carrying Nautica, all reported healthy outerwear sales for the past twelve months.
“This season, we saw a lot of lighter weights, transitional pieces and technological aspects, whether in fabrics or interior details like zip-out linings and bibs,” said Kathy Glynn, president of the Andrew Marc division of G-III Apparel Group Ltd.
“The weather is getting colder in the season and a lot of guys are wearing suits again, so they don’t need heavy, heavy coats.”
Among the best-selling brands at Bloomingdale’s were Canada Goose, Herno, Moncler, and Moorer. Leather garments sold better than in recent years, with Sandro, Theory, Vince and John Varvatos leading the way.
Eddie Bauer reported that this season’s top sellers were lightweight down jackets and coats, specifically its trademarked MicroTherm apparel.
“It’s very warm and slimming for its weight,” said Damien Huang, senior vice president of product and design, referring to the MicroTherm jacket.
“We want you to be warm but never sticky so you don’t overheat, “said Huang.
Among L.L. Bean’s featured coats this season is a “feather light, toasty warm and water resistant down jacket that’s machine washable and dryable.”
This item from L.L. Bean, like others mentioned above, embodies many of the elements desired by consumers that are driving increased outerwear sales.
Although there are many large, mid-size, and small players in outerwear manufacturing and retailing, the major chains and brands all seem to have gotten the consumer message:
Consumers want lightweight, water resistant fabrics that retain warmth, are multifunctional, and showcase new design trends.