Why M&S has stopped selling suits in its majority of stores

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Once a destination for suits and formalwear, Marks & Spencer is betting on casual fashion and no longer selling suiting in most of its stores. The retailer has shifted its focus to shirts and chinos, which are more popular.

In total, sales of suits in the UK have fallen by 2.3 million over five years, according to the market research firm Kantar Group. According to Kantar Group, men bought two million suits in the year ended July 2017, compared with 4.3 million in 2017.

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Suit sales down 80 percent at the start of the pandemic M&S reported that it sold 7,500 suits in the first two months after the Covid pandemic when millions were forced to work remotely. This is an 80 percent decrease compared to the previous year.

M&S said in the year to April its formalwear saw a decline of 15 percent online and 72 percent in stores compared to the previous year. The same period saw casualwear sales rise by 61 percent online.

Kantar data shows annual sales of men’s suiting fell from 469M pounds in 2016 to 159M pounds in past year to July.