• Home
  • News
  • Retail
  • Why M&S stopped selling suits in most of its stores

Why M&S stopped selling suits in most of its stores

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


Scroll down to read more


Image: Pexels

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 company said tastes have evolved and the pandemic fuelled the trend for casualwear, with men favouring smart separates over tailoring.

Over 50 percent 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 focussing on categories such as chinos and shirts, which have higher sell-thrus.

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. It said men purchased two million of them in the year to July compared to 4.3 million for the same period in 2017.

Suit sales down 80 percent at the start of the pandemic

The decline began in 2019 when M&S said sales fell by seven per cent. In the first two months of the Covid pandemic, when millions of people were forced to work from home, M&S said it sold just 7,500 suits - a fall of 80 percent compared to the same period in 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. During the same period, sales of casualwear increased 61 percent online

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

M&S currently operates around 700 stores, of which the majority sells food.

Marks & Spencer