If it seems like no one wears suits anymore, that’s because they’re not. And as dress codes keep relaxing across nearly all professions (what up Goldman Sachs?), retailers that once trafficked exclusively in suiting are starting to struggle.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. men’s suit market has shrunk 8% to $1.98 billion since 2015,” and with “fewer men buying suits, retailers of tailored clothing are trying to adapt to a world in which it is no longer unthinkable to wear Lululemon pants to the office.”
While the merits of Lululemon-as-officewear are debatable, the numbers aren’t. Sales at Tailored Brands, parent company of Jos. A. Bank, Men’s Wearhouse, and the K&G and Moores chains, “fell 10.7% in the most recent quarter to $768.1 million,” and the company “predicts sales will continue to decline in the current period at all brands except K&G.”
Meanwhile, athletic wear is taking over the menswear market like a war machine: since 2015, “sports apparel… has grown 17% to $44.8 billion.” As one industry advisor noted, “The current crop of young adults love comfort,” (don’t know why) and “the word ‘stretch’ in menswear isn’t a dirty word anymore,” which has retailers like Jos. A. Bank now pushing their casual looks more aggressively than their suiting options.
If suit sales can’t rely on Goldman Sachs, what can they rely on.
You can read more about it at The Wall Street Journal.