More than half of Marks & Spencer stores across the country have stopped stocking suits as office working falls out of fashion.
Just 110 out of the retailer’s 254 clothing stores are still selling suits as consumers opt for more relaxed outfits in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns.
Shoppers bought 2m men’s suits in the year up to July 2021, in comparison to 4.3m five years ago and five million a decade ago, according to data from analysts Kantar, shared with The Sunday Times.
Sales of women’s suits have not seen such a sharp decline, dropping from 600,000 a year in 2017 to 500,000 today.
Marks & Spencer said online sales of formal wear fell 15 per cent while sales in stores dropped 72 per cent compared to a year prior.
The supermarket group’s online sales of casual wear saw a 61 per cent boost.
“Covid hit fast forward on the trend to more casual dressing that was already in train so our smartwear is now more focused on smart separates — easy to wear, stylish smart clothing that can be worn in lots of different ways,” Wes Taylor, director of M&S menswear, said.