Publishers View

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Yummy but not a mummy

We tend to think of the classic luxury consumer as a wealthy woman in her thirties or older – the archetypical buyer of Louis Vuitton bags and Prada dresses.

However, a new report suggests that future growth for luxury will come from a new kind of consumer: the yummy (from YUM: young urban male). Not to be confused with the yummy mummy, the yummy is the new, more mainstream version of the metrosexual – and he could reshape the $1 trillion luxury landscape.

An HSBC report, “The Rise of the Yummy. Young, Urban, Male: Three reasons to rejoice”, claims that global luxury sales will grow by 8 or 9% this year, thanks largely to the rise of luxe-hungry young men. “Whether it is cosmetics, outdoor sports, fashion or accessories, male purchases have really started to impact overall growth rates,” the report said. “Men-specific luxury stores are one of the ways in which brands have adapted to this new type of consumer.”

Men already account for 40% of luxury sales, according to consultancy Bain. But there are three main reasons the yummy could dominate even more sales. Young, affluent men already have cars, so they’re moving on to other categories. Second, they are marrying later and therefore can spend more on themselves. And, in media, stylish young men are coming back into vogue.

As Richard Cope, a researcher from Mintel, the global market research firm, says in the report: “Taking pride and taking greater confidence from maintaining a well-groomed appearance now defines what it is to be ‘a man’ in today’s society. Rather than being in a minority, men who buy grooming products to boost self-esteem or feel more attractive are now in the majority.” He said men are embracing “yoga, beauty goods and the act of shopping itself.

June 2014