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Retailers voice price deflation fears over suppliers' cheap suits

Independent menswear retailers are concerned that price deflation in the branded suiting market will destroy their tailoring business.

A number of brands have launched their cheapest ever suits this season.

Supplier Skopes has unveiled a £20 suit that is available from stock. The 2sb style is fully lined and features saddle stitching and open cuffs. Meanwhile, supplier Carabou is selling a £29 dinner suit. Both suits are made from polyester in China.

Several independent men's tailoring retailers told Drapers they feared the launches would encourage price deflation.

Graham Rosenburg, owner of Mr Savile in Brentwood, Essex, said: "If we start selling suits for under £99 we get a reputation for being cheap. If you sell a suit for £50, soon that's all you're selling."

Matthew Hansford, owner of menswear retailer JR Hansford in Chichester, West Sussex, believes independents will only survive by avoiding the price trap. "We want to focus on ensuring the product is reliable," he said.

Skopes managing director Simon Cope said: "Some stockists just want upmarket suits, but others want value added and this helps them to get a bit more margin."

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