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M&S bets on casual fashion to drive growth


No longer selling suits in its stores, Marks & Spencer now bets on casual fashion to fuel growth.

M&S’ suit sales fell by 7 per 2019 as it sold just 7,500 suits – a fall of 80 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

The brand’s formal wear years during the year upto April declined by 15 per cent online and 72 per cent in stores compared to the previous year.

During the same period, sales of casual wear increased 61 per cent online.

M&S has stopped stocking suits across more than half of its 245 larger-format stores. Over 50 per cent of M&S’s bigger stores are no longer selling suiting, with tailoring available in just 110 of its 254 larger stores.

Instead, the retailer is focusing on categories such as chinos and shirts, which have higher sell-throughs.

Office wear has become decidedly more relaxed due to the rise of new work from home culture, as per the latest report by the Kantar Group.

Sales of suits in the UK have fallen by 2.3 million over five years. Men purchased 2 million suits during the year to July compared to 4.3 million for the same period in 2017.

Annual sales of men’s suiting fell from 469m pounds in 2016 to 159m pounds in past year to July.