Moss Bros aims to sell more suits than Green

Moss Bros, the high street menswear group that also owns Cecil Gee and Hugo Boss outlets, is vowing to overtake Philip Green's Burton chain as the UK's second-largest suit retailer.

Philip Mountford, the chief executive of Moss Bros, said yesterday: "We are a specialist retailer with a great product range.

"Our ambition is to be number two in the suits market. Our current market share is about 8.6 per cent, and we want to take 10 per cent in the next three years. This would probably bring us to around the number two spot."

He revealed his ambitions in the suits market as Moss Bros announced a 9 per cent rise in like-for-like sales over the year to 29 January 2005. Over the second six months of its financial year, like-for-like sales were up 10 per cent, with sales at Hugo Boss the strongest in the group. Sales there were up 15 per cent, compared with 10 per cent in Cecil Gee and 9 per cent in Moss.

Suits have driven the sales growth. Mr Mountford said: "We've seen a real strong demand for formal suit shirts, in vibrant colours, and suits across the three brands have done very well."

With a 10 per cent share of the suits market, Moss believes it would vying ahead of Mr Green. Mr Green, however, claims to have 11 per cent, including TopShop and Bhs. Marks & Spencer is the clear high street leader in suit retailing, with a market share of more than 15 per cent.