Sainsbury’s deal to sell the iconic Admiral casual menswear brand reached its first birthday last month. The capsule autumn/winter range was originally available in 100 Sainsbury’s stores but quickly expanded to 170 stores due to its fashion appeal and customer demand. The Admiral range is also available online for home delivery or collection in over 700 stores nationwide, and fits well with the retailer’s strategy of growing its non-food business, maximising retail space and offering customers great choice across quality products that are also great value.
Sainsbury’s is now set to launch a new Admiral range for men – the Admiral Performance collection. Just in time for the Summer of Sport, Admiral Performance wear will appeal to men who want to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle and look good while at the same time.
It is a true performance range, using ultra stretch, lightweight fabrics that wick away sweat to keep wearers comfortable. It is treated with an antibacterial finish and is designed to fit well and adjust to the body during high-intensity exercise.
James Brown, director of non-food at Sainsbury’s, said: “The Admiral brand is associated with a sporty, on-trend casual look, and the success of our Admiral launch last year has paved the way for the brand’s development into more functional performance wear. The activewear market is growing fast so we’re delighted to add Admiral Performance to our Admiral Gold and Admiral Retro collections.
“Shopping for clothing in supermarkets has become firmly established, and our strategy of offering customers high street style at supermarket prices in an attractive, department store-style setting has helped us to increase our market share. Eight million customers buy clothing from us and it’s heading towards a £1bn business. We are now the sixth largest clothing retailer by volume, up from seventh place last year.”
John Carolan, head of menswear and childrenswear buying, said “The launch of Admiral last year was a real turning point. It attracted men to have a look at what we offer, and they liked what they saw. We also saw a ‘halo’ effect on the rest of the range, with Tu menswear increasing in market share. In fact, we are growing sales and market share across all our clothing areas.”
“Much of the interest in sportswear has been driven by the fact that it is so fashionable. Our Admiral Performance wear is functional as well as on-trend, and it feeds in to the whole athleisure concept. And of course, gym memberships are rising as more people take to the treadmill.”
Over the last few years there has been a radical shift in menswear retailing. Gone are the days when the majority of menswear was bought by women – the ratio has now turned on its head, with 54% of Sainsbury’s menswear now bought by men for themselves, an increase of 23% over two years.
“Men now take a real interest in the clothes they wear. This is driven by social media and the internet which have given men the confidence to know what to buy to be fashionable and to look good. It also helps that men can now buy Sainsbury’s clothing on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and choose where they want it delivered.”