Selfridges boss Simon Forster has left the business after just over a year at the helm.

Forster, who only took over in October 2018, has been replaced as managing director by his predecessor, Anne Pitcher, on an interim basis.

Pitcher will combine the duties with her current role overseeing the Selfridges Group until a permanent successor can be found.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, which first reported the news, Forster’s exit comes amid concerns about the direction of travel at Selfridges and its culture.

Selfridges said Forster had left in order to “pursue other interests”.

Pitcher said: “I want to thank Simon for the significant contribution he has made to Selfridges over the years. 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.”

News of Forster’s departure came as it emerged that Selfridges’ owners, the Weston family, are seeking to offload its upmarket furniture business Heal’s.

Wittington Investments, the family’s investment arm, has instructed Cavendish Corporate Finance to find a buyer for the chain, according to The Sunday Times.

Heal’s has racked up around £40m of operating losses since it was purchased by the Westons for £33m back in 2001.

Separately, Selfridges has launched a rental pop-up for luxury fashion items in its Oxford Street flagship.

The department store business has joined forces with peer-to-peer wardrobe rental platform Hurr Collective to pilot the service. It opens today on the third floor of the shop and will initially be in situ for six months.

The pop-up will feature a range of 200 items from the Hurr website, including dresses, outerwear and accessories, from brands such as Gucci, Rixo and Ganni, with stock rotating on a weekly basis around key events such as Valentine’s Day.

Hurr chief executive and co-founder Victoria Prew said: “Hurr is based on creating accessibility and a route to luxury fashion for a mainstream market.

”We’ve seen consumer behaviours change significantly in recent years as we move towards access-based models for houses, holidays and cars, and now we are seeing the same with our wardrobes. I couldn’t think of a better partner than Selfridges to help us translate the Hurr experience into store”.