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For The Record, Women Are Driving Comp

Someone pinged me today asking which apparel stocks were best to play the revival in menswear that a TV personality noted in her commentary last night. For the record, menswear is not strong. It stinks something fierce and is getting worse.

Remember that weakness in womenswear is just one of the factors pressuring department store comps over the past 18 months. Menswear has actually been pretty decent. Recently, however, menswear has turned down and women are gaining share on a yy basis.

It's no mistake that Phillips-Van Heusen just announced that it is closing down its Geoffrey Beene outlet stores (GB total revs account for about 13% of PVH total by my math). This also coincides with a simply massive round of layoffs on Wall Street. PVH makes one in every three dress shirts in the US. Notice a trend?

I like looking at the year/year change in the ratio of spending on menswear vs womenswear. When the line goes up, men are spending more. When then line goes down, guys like me are spending less on a relative basis.

I'd be surprised to see this go up again in a meaningful way anytime this year. (Source: NPD Fashionworld and Research Edge, LLC).