The belief that men hate shopping is an age-old myth that is quickly being debunked. More and more men are shopping these days as seen in the continuous rise of menswear sales. A survey we conducted found that 71% of men find it extremely important to look good, while a study conducted by Ogilvy & Mather noted that 94% of American men say they have a defined personal style.
With the increase of menswear sales, we are also seeing a rise in stores dedicated to men with the goal of giving them an experience that reflects their lifestyle. The new Toronto Nordstrom store features a bar in the middle of its menswear floor. It is not uncommon to see menswear stores with coffee shops, in-house barbers, arcade games - all with the aim of creating a social and “manly” environment.
Yes, the fashion and grooming industry are recognizing men are investing in their personal style and are not a passive consumer. Yet, the homeware industry is still living in the past with the belief that men hate shopping, that homeware is separate from personal style and that women are the main consumer of homeware items.
Today, men are living on their own longer and are taking homewares shopping into their own hands. They also believe their defined personal style is extended to all aspects of their life including the home. Our survey showed that 65% of men find it is extremely important for their homes to look good. However, something isn’t translating because we also found men are dissatisfied with how their homes look. It’s not their fault. Homeware stores are simply not reflecting their needs or style.
The home is a living, breathing expression of a man’s personality and they shouldn’t cut corners. That is why we looked at a number of factors stopping men from making their home look great and went on a mission to rectify the problem.
Here are some of the issues.
Issue: Men find the shopping experience frustrating.
Who doesn’t? Stores are so jam packed with product that it’s hard to find what you’re looking for and difficult to imagine how a product can fit in your space. Everyone, but in particular men, want a simpler, more comfortable shopping experience.
Solution: Create a Live-room.
Instead of a showroom, we opened a “live-room” at 273 Richmond St. W. in Toronto to simplify the shopping experience and give men the opportunity to imagine how our products can live in their home. We create a guest experience that invites men to relax and take inspiration from the space. They can then get a consultation from our brand advisors, touch and feel the product and sit back with a coffee from our housemate, De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters, while we’re packing their order.
We also aim to create a simpler online shopping experience, featuring inspirational photos, behind-the-scenes information on our factories and test labs and a clean, easy-to-navigate flow through the site. We want you to spend less time shopping and more time living.
Issue: Men have difficulty finding designs that suit their style.
The homeware industry is primarily designed for women (and a stereotypical ideal of one at that), assuming they are the key decision makers when it comes to buying for the home. But what about the bachelor? Or the woman who doesn’t love florals? Homeware stores today tend to be more feminine with colours, patterns and functionality that appeal to a traditional female demographic. This makes it difficult for men, and some women, to find designs that suit their style.
Solution: Curate a product line with designs to satisfy a relaxed, masculine style.
Our research shows that design is among the most important factors for men when they purchase bedding, but that they are often met by designs that don’t appeal to them –“water colour florals and strange geometric patterns,” as one man put it. Men are living longer as bachelors and want their homes to look as good as they do with more masculine products. Our products come in colours more aligned with the male colour scheme in simple, detailed patterns. Like that great button-down that looks great, matches everything and gets stolen by girlfriends and wives – it’s a “masculine” look that appeals broadly to men and women.
Issue: He wants functional products for the home.
To take just one example, men have complained to us about being hot, sweaty sleepers. They see temperature-regulating technology used in their gym clothes and are asking why those properties aren’t available in bedding. They also complain about the high cost of bedding that quickly pills or wears thin after a few months.
Solution: Introduce our custom performance fibre bedding to male consumers.
Men look for a number of things in a bedding product – touch, quality, durability and design. We listened and delivered on this. Our sheets are made from a custom performance fibre weave that we developed with our partner factory in Portugal. This weave of Tencel and cotton results in an ultra-soft hand that gets softer with time, has better breathability and moisture-wicking properties – all while being 2.4 times more durable than cotton alone. Our sheets look great while making your sleep more comfortable.
Issue: Men have difficulty finding products worth the value.
Studies show that men can be more price conscious and spend a longer time in the consideration stage as they try to understand how a product is used, how it is made, which features are necessary and how it will benefit them.
Solution: Focus on developing products that are innovative and crafted with care.
Our manufacturing philosophy engages partners who share our passion for innovation and craftsmanship. Our cushions are made by one of the last knitters and dye houses in Ontario and have been treated by the greenest stain resistance technology available that is also used on products in the White House. Furthermore, our bedding is made by a third-generation family-owned factory with experience in weaving and dyeing for high-end luxury brands. By cutting out the middleman and working directly with these factories, we bring customers luxury brand quality at reasonable prices.
A man’s style should extend to all aspects of his life. Our brand allows men to have more choice when it comes to their space. We’ve done the research and now we have created the tools required to create an inviting, relaxed and practical home that matches his lifestyle.