George Davies, the founder of the first supermarket clothing range, George at Asda, is retiring from Marks & Spencer, where he later set up the per una label.

Davies was part-time chairman of per una and will be stepping down at the end of the year.

“George has done a fantastic job in establishing per una and building it into a significant brand,” said M&S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose. “We are immensely grateful to him for all he has done for M&S and wish him well for the future.”

Supply chain director Andrew Skinner has been appointed as trading director for per una, reporting to head of clothing Kate Bostock.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that M&S is set to slash clothes prices by 20% in the run-up to Christmas as competition becomes increasingly fierce on the high street.