Upmarket apparel retail J Crew is to stop using fur in its product lines, but says the decision has been taken for business rather than ethical reasons.

J Crew, which has been slammed by anti-fur and animal rights campaigners for continuing the sell fur garments, said that pressure from rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had not influenced the announcement.

PETA, however, is to hold a celebration in honour of J Crew's decision. The group had held an intense 11-week boycott campaign against the retailer that involved protests, petitions, letters and phone calls.

Petition organiser Heather Mills McCartney said: "J.Crew has atoned for its recent flip-flop on fur by finally adopting a policy that will save countless animals and send a strong message of compassion throughout the retail clothing community and beyond."