The managing director of Selfridges, Simon Forster, has left the luxury department store retailer after a little over a year in the job with Anne Pitcher taking the helm.
A report on Sunday said his exit followed “a loss of confidence in his leadership”. He had been with the company since 2012 having previously been executive director - the customer.
Pitcher, who was his predecessor in the MD’s post but had been promoted to a wider role managing the Selfridges Group, is believed to have taken back the reins last week. She will continue to run the wider business that includes high-end department stores such as Ireland’s Brown Thomas and Canada’s Holt Renfrew.
The Telegraph reported that there had been “concerns about the direction of Selfridges and its culture” under Forster but Selfridges has said little about the reason behind the change, other than to say Forster left to “pursue other interests”.
However, Pitcher added that he’d made a “significant contribution. Under his leadership, the business has continued to grow and thrive. Selfridges has a talented leadership team in place, and we continue to build that across the company.”
Selfridges has been owned by the Weston family since 2003 and has regularly been named the world’s top department store. Best known for its London flagship, it also has branches in Birmingham and Manchester and an online store that delivers globally.
It has ridden the luxury wave in recent years, moving further upmarket, but also focusing on experiences and quirky brands as it works to differentiate itself from other luxury players.