Necktie sales may be skyrocketing in the UK, but it's a bad time for tie makers in the good ol' USA.
Many American men have stopped wearing ties, and now, even the tie guys are calling it quits. The Men's Dress Furnishing Association, the trade group for American tie manufacturers, have, um, become untied:
According to a recent Gallup Poll, the number of men who wore ties every day to work last year dropped to a record low of 6%, down from 10% in 2002. U.S. sales have plummeted to $677.7 million in the 12 months ending March 31, from their peak of $1.3 billion in 1995, according to market researcher NPD Group. Although sales are expected to get a bump around Father's Day, June 15, the future of neckties is very much in doubt.
Some members of the neckwear association sensed the trend two years ago when, at the group's annual luncheon in New York, a number of people turned up tieless. Marty Staff, chief executive of men's clothing company JA Apparel Corp., which has a big neckwear business, was one of them.
"It was deliberate," explains Mr. Staff, who says he wanted to make a statement to his colleagues. "Historically, the guy wearing the navy suit, the white shirt and the burgundy tie would be the CEO. Now he's the accountant," Mr. Staff explains.