The former boss of Marks & Spencer Sir Stuart Rose has made a return to the British high street as chairman of discount fashion chain Blue Inc, reports say.
Sir Stuart has not worked in UK retail since he left M&S 18 months ago, although he is a non-executive director of Woolworths, the South African food and clothes group.
Sir Stuart invested his own money in Blue Inc, which has close to 200 stores and a 2,000-strong workforce, while fellow backers include the billionaire Reuben brothers, the Sunday Times said.
Blue Inc, led by managing director Steven Cohen, is heading for sales of £80 million and profits of £5.5 million this year, up 70% and 82% respectively on the previous year.
The company, which can trace its roots back to 1912 when it traded as A Levy & Sons, earlier this year snapped up 20 stores from collapsed fashion chain D2 Jeans.
Since retiring from M&S, Sir Stuart has invested in online retailer Hut Group and private equity house Bridgepoint.
The 63-year-old ended his six-year tenure with the high-street giant in January 2011, bringing a close to an eventful leadership which attracted both praise and criticism.
Sir Stuart brought in key talent to drive a revival of M&S clothing ranges after taking up the helm and commissioned advertising campaigns featuring the likes of supermodels Twiggy, Erin O'Connor and singer Myleene Klass.
But his role, combining chairman and chief executive, raised the ire of many investors as it breached corporate best practice.