Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Rich guys love their manSpanx for looking thin

April 29, 2010

neiman-marcusTo the relief of many women (and men for that matter) out there, Spanx introduced its cotton-compression undershirts for men in February this year.

No surprise that a garment that helps hide unsightly potbellies and sagging rear-ends would be a hit. But I admit, I was surprised on a recent trip to Chicago to see Spanx for Men at the Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue. I thought, in my naïveté, that that product might be a bit downmarket for Neiman’s upscale male patrons.

I was wrong. Neiman wasn’t just passively selling Spanx — it was looping on a large screen a video extolling its virtues, gave it half a wall of display space and made sure the helpful salesman knew how to approach guys about Spanx without directly saying, “don’t think we can’t see your ample love handles.”

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Neiman Marcus Stores CEO Karen Katz (she becomes CEO of the whole company in October) said Spanx for Men has been a major hit.

“We have sold thousands of units of those Spanx for Men- it has been unbelievable,” Katz told us.  “Men in some ways are just as vain as women.” And lest any still-young, still-svelte man think he’ll never need them, she warned, “At some point you may get a little bit of stuff here and there,” pointing to her hips.

For a look at the modern man’s girdle, click here.

(Reuters photo)

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