Supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, has just announced the introduction of its very own range of tailored men’s clothing. But will its Tu Formal brand be impactful enough to compete in this crowded marketplace?
What should set Sainsbury’s tailoring range apart from the pack almost immediately is the fact that quite a few items in the 29-strong line-up are fashioned from fabrics that make use of UK-sourced wool. So rather than going overseas for its materials, the supermarket chain is looking to home-grown produce to flesh out its formal jacket and trouser combos.
Much of the wool comes specifically from a pair of mills based in Yorkshire and the various items in the range will be sold both online and in-store at 250 locations nationally, meaning not everyone will be able to see the Tu Formal fabrics in the flesh immediately.
Woollen suits and tweed jackets are amongst the items on offer, as well as ties costing from as little as £6 apiece. Of course, with sites like http://www.ejmenswear.com/brands/farah selling mens Farah shirts at competitive prices online, Sainsbury’s is not just having to take on other bricks and mortar retailers, but online stores too.
As the Tu Formal range touches down this month, Sainsbury’s is already outlining its intentions to expand further before the end of the year. As the winter season gets into full swing, it will start selling slim-fit suits, thicker jackets and a number of other pieces to round out the offerings.
Company spokesperson, Seth Harrington, explained that no other supermarkets had attempted to enter this market segment before, in spite of the fact that there is clear demand for this type of fashion line, and with rivals like M&S suffering clothing-related setbacks, now is the right time to pounce.
Next month, Sainsbury’s will be debuting Tu Premium as part of another expansion of this brand, bringing with it things like beanie hats and overcoats which factor in a whole range of different sizes, from small to triple XL. While the name suggests that these will be prestige items, in reality, the supermarket is seeking to keep them affordable and in line with customer expectations, meaning that firms like Next will need to redouble their efforts and address their own prices if they want to avoid being eclipsed.