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Cheaper clothes maketh the young men: more are shopping but they’re spending less overall

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2010 – June 2014; average annual sample = 658 men aged 14-24

More young Aussie men shop for clothes in an average four weeks now compared with 2011—but they’re actually spending around $325 million less per year.

Three years ago, 33% of Australian men aged 14-24 bought men’s clothing (excluding underwear, sleepwear and socks) in an average four week period, spending an average $173 each on menswear for combined $96 million. 

But during an average four weeks in the latest year to June 2014, 38% of young men had bought some menswear—but they spent only $108 each on average. So despite the addition of 100,000 young men shopping for clothes now compared with 2011, their total expenditure is $25 million less per four week period.

Across all retail, men aged 14-24 are now spending around $522 million a month in total, up $22 million (or over 4%) on 2011 figures for the group. Menswear, therefore, has dropped from consuming 19% of young men’s retail expenditure to 14%. 

Trend in menswear retail spending among men aged 14-24 per four week period

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2010 – June 2014; average annual sample = 658 men aged 14-24

Geoffrey Smith, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Over the last few years, the average amount spent by young men has fallen across all product categories, with prices being pushed down by the availability of cheaper imports, the local launch of numerous low-cost clothing brands, and increased online shopping.

“Product categories hardest hit include suits and sportswear, where declines in average purchase price are amplified by decreased purchasing incidence. With pants and shorts, jackets and coats, and jeans, incidence is steady, but average (and therefore total) spend is lower.

“However the total expenditure on both shirts and jumpers by young men has actually increased despite big falls in average spend thanks to gains in incidence: 1 in 4 young men will now buy a shirt or t-shirt in an average four weeks (up from 1 in 5 in 2011) and around 1 in 13 will buy a jumper (up from 1 in 20).

“Retailers trying to compete on price will need to closely monitor changes not only in incidence among their different target customers, but their disposable income, attitudes and product preferences, and lifestyle, to find ways to get them in the store more often.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s retail data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Office: +61 (3) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%