Majority of M&S stores have stopped stocking suits after rise in relaxed workwear

·2 min read
More than half of Marks & Spencer stores no longer stock formal workwear. (Getty Images)
More than half of Marks & Spencer stores no longer stock formal workwear. (Getty Images)

Marks & Spencer has long been a classic sartorial go-to whatever the occasion – be that kids' school shoes, women's lingerie or men's tailoring.

However, the latter is fast disappearing from the shop floor, with more than half of the brand's clothing stores no longer stocking formal workwear.

According to The Sunday Times, just 110 of the chain's 254 locations still have suits on the rails.

They reported findings, from data analytics company Kantar, who discovered that two million men's suits were purchased in the UK in the past year, compared to 4.3 million five years ago.

The trend has been attributed to a rise in both men and women dressing more casually for their jobs – something supercharged by the pandemic-induced shift to remote working.

M&S themselves released sales figures showing that formalwear had dropped by 15 per cent online, and 72 per cent in stores, in the year up to April.

In contrast, there was a 61 per cent increase in people purchasing casualwear, like jogging bottoms and sweaters.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the chain had created a dedicated loungewear section to cater to more relaxed clothing preferences.

Read more: Holly Willoughby reveals her three favourite outfits from M&S

In March, M&S launched a summer lounge dress for women that's perfect for relaxing around the home on balmy days.

However, while increasing number of men now deem a shirt and chinos to be smart enough for most offices, the absence of suit options in most M&S stores has shocked some shoppers

Sharing his surprise on Twitter, one man wrote: "The local Marks & Spencer no longer sells suits. HOW LONG WAS I AWAY!?!?" 

Another customer revealed on the site that she was "disappointed" at not being able to find suits at the Longwell Green store, and was told it was "because of COVID".

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