M&S fashion brands are under threat as the struggling retailer looks to cut costs

 
Sebastian McCarthy
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Per Una is one of several fashion brands that the retailer could drop

Marks & Spencer could abandon its once flagship womenswear brand as the retailer’s crisis deepens.


Per Una, which generated roughly £750m for the floundering high street giant at its peak, is now one of several brands to be put under review by chief executive Steve Rowe as the company looks to cut costs.

The fashion label caught the attention of M&S three years after being launched in 1999, and it was largely successful at drawing in a younger demographic of female shoppers.

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But Per Una’s trendy reputation has failed to stem plummeting sales, as the retailer announced annual pre-tax profits plunged 62 per cent for the year ending March 2018.


Having announced plans to close more than 100 stores by 2022 as part of a radical restructuring plan earlier this month, the latest bad news also threatens brands including Autograph and Blue Harbour, which are both up for review as well.

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It is the most recent sign of looming extinction for many retail stores across the country, as online sales soak up much of the high street’s traditional consumer base.

An M&S spokesperson said: "As part of our transformation plans to make M&S special again we’re restoring value and style in Clothing & Home. We are continuing to review our sub-brands, some of which have lost their identity in recent years, in order to provide great value choices for stylish wardrobe essentials to our customers."