Shinsegae Department Store announced that the sales performance of an associated credit card exclusively for men that was launched last month was three million won per person in the first month. This is six times the figure of existing associated credit cards of department stores. In light of the fact that the credit cards exclusively for men were mostly used at luxury brands and male clothings, men are more interested not only in grooming themselves but also emerged as important customers at department stores. The ratio of male customers in department stores increased from 28 percent in 2010 to 34 percent last year.
The department store industry is also trying to draw male customers. The industry opened a “hall for men” that gathers men’s wear, luxury goods, bags and clothings all in one place, and also prepared a hair salon just for men. The scope of the domestic cosmetics industry is also worth up to 1.28 trillion won. The world has changed conspicuously in 10 years when looking back at Lotte Department’s attempt to launch “El Papa” a casual clothing brand for mid-aged male with Hollywood star Richard Gear as its main model in 2008, which ended up in a failure in just three years.
Male peacocks are more beautiful than female ones. This is also similar in other animals such as chicken or mandarin duck. Amotz Zahavi, an Israeli biologist, proposed the “handicap principle” that the male wants to show off the superiority of his genes that he survived in spite of the handicap to survival to the female in order to explain the paradox of an animal’s extravagant appearance in spite of the risk of being eaten by a natural enemy. Jeffery Miller, an American psychologist, applied this to the lives of people. He argues that people also spend “conspicuous consumption” to win the heart of the other gender.
“Grooming” refers to male who invest in his fashion or beauty. It comes from the word grooming. It is not certain whether the recent increase in the number of Grooming is a result of conspicuous consumption to win the hearts of women or an expression of overflowing self-attachment. It is true that the thoughts of Korean men changed from the past when clothes were something mothers or wives would purchase for them. It has now become an era when men do not just purchase presents for their wives or girlfriends but also pick out and purchase bags or clothes for themselves.