Green says chain is
Arcadia chief Sir Philip Green is reported to be seeking a chief executive for his department store chain Bhs after failed talks to sell the group to chairman Allan Leighton.

Leighton, who is also chairman of Royal Mail, had been in informal talks with the retail tycoon over the past few days to buy the retailer. However, Green has declared the business is not up for sale.

Green said there were no plans to resurrect discussions with Leighton and that they had 'stopped before they really started'. He said: 'The business is not up for sale. We don't need to sell it. The refurbishment programme for the stores will continue in August and September.'

Green has also signalled that he is considering expanding the retailer's range to include food. It is understood that, if buy-out talk had progressed, Leighton had wanted to introduce the new product line.

When asked what factors would impede the acquisition of the retailer, Green said: 'Unless the store is going to continue operating the way it is - selling the same things with the same people in charge - I'm not interested in a sale. If it is going to start selling food, then that's something I can do myself.'

Pre-tax profits at Bhs dropped to£42 million from£107 million on sales down 1.8 per cent to£861 million. Green launched a full-scale review of his retail portfolio in May, which led to speculation that he might sell Bhs and focus on the international roll-out of Topshop.

It is understood that the search for a full-time chief executive for Bhs will start when Green returns from is summer break.