Los Angeles, CA—We spend a lot of time talking, writing, and thinking about selling to women—and with good reason, given both their buying power and wearing power for the jewelry market. But recently, when shopping with my husband, I visited a clothing store targeted primarily to the male shopper. It was quite an eye-opening experience!
The store is called Untuckit. The company carries all sorts of shirts cut specifically designed to be worn untucked, avoiding the sloppiness of wearing a too-long dress shirt untucked. It looks like any clothing store from the outside, but when you head on in to shop, it delivers what I considered to be a very male-focused shopping experience.
I sat down in the waiting area, which did not contain men, but rather women (at that specific time anyway). I was promptly offered a whiskey. Nice! I declined and was offered water. Also nice.
It was a great vantage point to observe the men shopping. The store itself was set up in a different way from other men’s clothing stores. There was one of each shirt (and in each color) that Untuckit sells, displayed on the show floor. That’s it – ONE. The store still appeared to have plenty of merchandise, rather than relying on multiple sizes for each style as filler.
The shirts were in various sizes around the sales floor. Shoppers are invited to try on any shirts to find out their size and see how they fit, assess the color and style, etc. Then, once the right size is found and questions answered, the customer just shows the sales associate which shirts he wants. The sales associate retreats to the back room, pulls all the shirts in the right size, delivers them folded, pinned, and in a bag. The shopper pays for the purchase and is out the door. Voila! Shopping done.
What struck me was that this process never would have worked on a typical female shopper. Most women still like to try on each individual piece of clothing to see how it fits their body, not just rely on the fact that it’s the right size. But the UnTuckit process works for the male market, at least I observed in this particular store. I watched a number of sales quickly complete while I sat there and began to realize that many a male shopper may not want a large selection. They want a choice, but not a never-ending one.
My hard-to-fit spouse bought four shirts and even wore one out of the shop (the sales associate had to extract it from its pin and paper housing, but was quite quick about it). The cut was flattering and the price workable. Shopping was easy and we went on to find other retail prizes.
If there’s any tip in here for a jewelry retailer, it’s this: don’t overwhelm your male customer with choices. Find out what he wants and show him a curated selection, not your entire stock. Make it as easy as possible for him to shop and find what he wants. And perhaps offering a whiskey isn’t the worst idea either!
Top image: Untuckit.com