A new survey by Mintel found that Marks & Spencer is the number one choice for British clothing shoppers when it comes to basic clothing items.

The survey - carried out during the first half of this year, and involving 2,000 shoppers - found that 49 per cent of respondents named M&S as their first choice for clothing, with 41 per cent choosing them for basics such as socks and underwear, and 19 per cent for work outfits and formal dress.

Although only 13 per cent selected M&S for more expensive items, the firm still managed to beat retailers such as Debenhams (8 per cent) and Next (7 per cent). However, most shoppers questioned said they preferred to buy such goods at smaller, more specialised outlets.

Mintel International director of retail research Dr Hayley Myers said: "For basic clothing items, M&S really leads the way and there are no big competitors. M&S is way out in the front."

The Mintel survey was carried out following M&S's recently announced intention to close 20 stores in mainland Europe. It also plans to sell off its US businesses to concentrate on its British core business. Restructuring is expected to cost 3,500 jobs, with plans put in place following the loss of over £100m in a two year period.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The World's Top 100 Retailers

Retailing in the UK and Ireland