69% of men don’t return clothes that don’t fit – 365 RETAIL | Popgen Tech



Working with millions of e-commerce users in the UK, online menswear brand Spoke researched men’s online shopping and return habits.

They surveyed 2,000 British men of various socioeconomic backgrounds who regularly shop online to find their most common habits.

20% of men admitted that they never return clothes that don’t fit

The survey found that 20% of men never return clothing that doesn’t fit, and another 49% of men are laissez faire, regardless of cost. In fact, 40% of men agreed that price would play no role in returning a product anyway. This means that only 31% of men return ill-fitting clothes.

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The main reasons why you have to put up with clothes that don’t fit well are:

  • I’m not bothered (17%)
  • I will give it to a friend or family member instead (15%)
  • I keep it because it might come in handy one day (14%)
  • I don’t know how to get it back (10%)

Even with the option of parcel delivery or included return labels to make it as easy and hassle-free as possible, 16% of men still said they wouldn’t return clothes.

Men in the West Midlands are more likely to return clothes that don’t fit (60%) than all regions. However, 81% of men living in the East Midlands admitted they had never returned clothes bought online.

20% of men in London said they would rather give clothes to friends or family members that don’t fit than return them. Of all the professions, community and social workers were the most self-sacrificing, with 25% donating their unfit clothes to loved ones – generosity should be in the job description!

20% of men also kept clothes that didn’t fit, hoping that they would fit them someday.

Pants and jeans are the most frequently returned items

Pants and jeans, as you know, are difficult to buy and choose correctly. So it was no surprise to learn that they accounted for 15% of revenues. And the most common reason for return was poor fit.

Men spend an average of £290 a year on clothes they never wear

On average, men spend over £200 a month shopping for clothes online and £290 a year on clothes they never wear.

It also found that men in Northern Ireland spend the most on clothes they never wear, at an average of £475 a year, compared to men in the East Midlands who spend an average of just £138.

​​​​​​​Although they spend the money they earn, holding on to the clothes or giving them to a friend may not be such a bad thing, as an estimated 50% of returns never make it back into the clothing company’s inventory. At worst, these clothes are burned or sent to the landfill. So, whether they know it or not, UK men may actually be doing the environment a favor by not returning clothes that don’t fit, especially if they’re donating to charity.

1/3 of men do not listen to the opinion of friends or family when making purchases

When it comes to online shopping habits for men, the study found that 42% of men shop for clothes once a month or less, and 1/3 of men agree that the opinions of friends and family and fashion trends are not important when shopping for clothes online and will not influence their choice. Generally, men look for the following main factors:

  • Size/Fit (53%)
  • Quality (50%)
  • Comfort (47%)

Another factor that 25% of men consider before buying an item of clothing is how easy it is to return the item.

On average, 57% of men only sometimes compare clothing prices on one site with another, while 9% never compare prices and simply buy the first thing they see they’re looking for. The most savvy shoppers were found in Northern Ireland, where 48% said they would always compare prices to get the best deal.

It is stereotypically believed that men want to shop and get out of stores as quickly as possible. But while this may be true for some, when it comes to shopping online, 41% take up to 30 minutes in an online store before making a purchase, and 27% said it takes them 30 minutes to an hour to shop clothing online. In fact, only 10% say they spend less than 5 minutes shopping online before buying clothes.

Northern Ireland does the most online shopping

Interestingly, men in Northern Ireland were more likely to shop online for clothes each day than any other region of the UK. Another study found that Northern Irelanders also shopped the most online during the 2020 lockdown, with 88% of orders made online, compared with 69% of shoppers from England, 74% from Scotland and 79% from Wales.

On average – and this may come as no surprise – London men spend 3 times more than most smart spenders in the East Midlands (£360 a month).

Content Director of 365 Retail, Retail Focus and Hospitality and Leisure Design. Organizer of Creative Retail Awards and CDD Connections networking event.



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