Are you young? Do you live in an urban area? Are you a male with excess money to burn?
If so, I hate to break it to you — but you’ve been typecasted.
The Yummy (a Young Urban Male — with money) is the latest market research-created demographic that is all the rage on the Internet.
On Tuesday HSBC researchers declared the “Rise of the Yummy,” listing the aforementioned traits and labeling them as “three reasons to rejoice.”
Female? Don’t care. Women have apparently been buying luxury goods for years, but the Yummy is being touted as an exciting new emerging market that high-end retailers should be ready to pounce on. The study states, “The metro-sexual, that cliché from 20 years ago, is now becoming a commercial reality.”
A metrosexual, in case you don’t remember, was an inpeccably dressed and groomed, city-dwelling, usually heterosexual male, who indulged in luxury treatments and spending. Metros had their rise in the mid-‘90s after Mark Simpson penned “Here come the mirror men” for the Independent in 1994 and defined the type:
Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that?s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levis jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he?s everywhere and he?s going shopping.
Yummy sounds like metrosexuals with a new tagline, but the HSBC insists that this new generation is totally different because we can see the actual impact they’re having on the retail landscape. “In the beginning, though, this did not translate into strong growth in purchases of luxury goods by men as ‘metro-sexuals’ were not mainstream. This has clearly now changed.”
The study cites well-known, mid-market luxury retailers like Coach, who saw a jump from $100 million in 2010 to $700 million today following a focus on products for men. The brand, known for their leather goods but also apparel and lifestyle accessories, has two shops in Copley Place, including the free-standing men’s store just a floor up from their main location. A smaller, more refined version of the store downstairs, the Coach Men's shop exudes a difference sense of luxury typically associated with its namesake gender and caters in every way specifc to it.
Club Monaco and J.Crew also opened similar, mood-setting men’s doors in the Prudential-Copley malls, and Newbury Street has seen a significant face-lift of menswear-focused shops in the past two years — think Fred Perry, Bonobos, and Scotch & Soda. The city marks its territory on the menswear map with GQ-able boutiques like Sault New England and Ball & Buck. Even the start-up community has embraced the idea of catering to this market with high-tech mens business attire brand Ministry of Supply calling the Hub home. The signifcant rise of meticulously curated men’s options in Boston alone is enough to make us believe in the power of the Yummy and its broad retail reach.
While the positive effects of the demographic are getting folks in the stock and fashion game excited (OK, maybe just at HSBC), we found an underlying cultural tidbit to be the talking point takeaway of the piece. The study also says that the rise of the Yummy can be partially attributed later-in-life marriages, since without a family or spouse to support, men can spend their cashflow on themselves. In a version of the report obtained by NYMag.com, researchers wrote:
In the interviews we conducted we heard various explanations, including that men already had cars and so were now moving on to other luxury categories; that they were marrying at a later age and could therefore invest on themselves instead of having to support a family...
So, if he’s not calling you back, it’s not necessarily because he’s not interested — it’s just that he’s more interested in buying those new Maison Martin Margiela sneakers than taking you out to dinner and inevitably acquiring the financial burden of your future children.
Sorry, honey — that’s just the power of the Yummy.Raczka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeted @rachelraczka.