Sainsbury’s clothing brand Tu is launching its first full range of men’s formalwear for the autumn season.
The 29-piece Tu Formal range includes single- and double-breasted jackets, trousers, two- and three-piece suits, patterned shirts and tweed blazers.
Sainsbury’s claims Tu Formal is the first supermarket fashion range to stock suiting made with fabrics produced in the UK. Four jackets and two suits are made from British wool.
Tu has been working with two Yorkshire mills: Perseverance Mill for suiting and Yorkdale Tweed for its jackets.
Tu Formal launched last week and is being rolled out across 250 stores and online. Retail prices range from £6 for ties and £20 for suit trousers to £125 for a two-piece wool suit and £130 for a Harris Tweed jacket.
Colours range from classic greys to burgundies and 70s-style patterned blues. Sizes range from W30/29 to W44/33 for trousers and 38S to 52L for jackets.
Tu will introduce luxe party options for late winter, including black velvet shawl jackets, grey slim-fit “grindle” suits and jewelled colour pieces.
The menswear expansion follows a “strong customer response” to its Harris Tweed capsule collection for men, which launched last autumn.
Tu menswear buying manager Seth Harrington told Drapers the new tailoring offer was “driven by [demand for] fashion and newness”, and would pit the brand against high street giants such as Next and John Lewis.
Harrington said: “These are fundamentally different offerings to what our [supermarket] competitors have done in the past. While our price points have extended beyond what we traditionally offer, we are providing quality, trend-led product at great value.”
Meanwhile, its first premium menswear collection, which will be available in 60 stores and online, will launch on 17 October.
Tu Premium will feature shearling jackets and classic wool-blend knits in black, grey, camel and navy. It will comprise 20 garments and accessories.
Retail prices range from £8 for a wool-blend beanie to £60 for a camel overcoat, from sizes S to XXXL and denim in W30 to W44.
Tu said menswear accounts for 16% of its clothing sales. Formalwear sales grew by 40% in the year to September 2016, while overall menswear increased by 13%. It added that 54% of its menswear was bought by men for themselves, marking an increase of 23% over the previous two years.
Last year, Tu added 17 new lines to menswear, amounting to a 33% increase in the range. Wool-rich suits and blazers were standout performers.