British men spend more on fashion, grooming than women

British men spend more on fashion and grooming than women, although many do not enjoy the experience, according to a new survey.

The research, commissioned by Barclaycard, shows that British men spend on average £154.90 a month on clothes, shoes, and new age grooming products such as beard straighteners, while women spend £124.00.

male apparel - British men shoppingThe survey found that British men are less likely to return items than women. Image: pixabay-2211354

And, yet, despite spending more on shopping for these items than they do on drinking with friends and going to sports matches (£110.80), it seems that they do not enjoy it much.

‘Would rather clean the toilet’

Among the things that they would rather do than go shopping, the men interviewed for the research said that they would: “rather mow the lawn” (21 percent said this); “go to the dentist” (9 percent); or “clean the toilet” (9 percent).


It’s as though “the idea of retail therapy is still lost on British men,” says George Allardice, Head of Strategy, Barclaycard Payment Solutions.

Could this be why the research also found that nearly half (48 percent) of British men prefer to do their shopping online, whereas women prefer do it in-store?

The research, which included interviews with retailers, also found that women are more likely than men to return items, whereas men are more likely to let them linger in the wardrobe.

Only 26 percent of items returned to store are from male shoppers. Combine this with the fact that they spend more than women, it appears that men offer a potentially more profitable retail market.

What British men find frustrating about shopping

There also seems to be a perception gap about male shoppers on the side of retailers. Most retailers (66 percent) said they thought male shoppers needed more advice. Yet, the majority of the men in the survey (82 percent) said that they preferred to be left alone while they shopped.

The things that male shoppers found most frustrating in stores were:

– Not having their size in stock (42 percent of men said this)
– Crowded stores (36 percent)
– Queuing at checkouts (35 percent)

In fact, with regard to queuing, 40 percent of male shoppers said if they had to wait more than 5 minutes they would just leave the store.

Allardice suggests that if retailers were to change just a few simple things – “such as ensuring a wide range of sizes are stocked and reducing queues at the till” – then we might indeed see British men shopping “’til they drop.”

British men women shopping monthly spendBritish men spend more on clothes, shoes, and grooming products than women.

‘Buying items directly off the rack’

The survey asked both British men and women what improvements would make them happier with their shopping experience. Buying items directly from racks without having to queue to pay for them was mentioned by 20 percent of men and women.


In addition, 18 percent of male and female shoppers said that instead of trying things on, they would like to use virtual reality to help them decide if items were a good fit or looked good on them.

Atomik Research carried out the survey. They interviewed just over 2,000 male and female consumers online and also interviewed 250 owners of fashion, beauty, and other retail stores.