All the latest retail news as John Whittaker’s consortium withdraws its offer for shopping centre owner Intu.

Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail. Refresh this page to see the latest developments.

2:04pm Missguided chief customer officer Kenyatte Nelson exits

Nelson has exited the fashion retailer after eight months in the role.

It is understood his role will not be replaced and his remit will be covered by chief executive and founder Nitin Passi.

This is the latest in a series of senior exits from Missguided in recent months including chief technology officer John Allen last month and online chief executive Gareth Jones in May.

7.18am Unilever names new boss

Unilever chief executive Paul Polman is to retire from the consumer goods giant.

Polman will be succeeded on January 1, 2019, by Alan Jope, who is currently president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division.

Unilever, which makes products including Marmite, said Polman would “support the transition process during the first half of the year”.

It ends speculation in some quarters that suggested that Tesco boss Dave Lewis could be in line for a return Unilver as Polman’s successor.

7.09am Hammerson sells stake in Highcross

Property giant Hammerson has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre.

The mall owner has sold its shareholding in the scheme to a mystery Asian investor for £236m. 

Hammerson said it will use the cash to reduce its debt.

7.03am Whittaker scraps Intu bid amid economic ‘uncertainty’

A consortium led by John Whittaker has scrapped its bid for shopping centre owner Intu, blaming macroeconomic “uncertainty” and “potential near-term volatility” in financial markets.

A statement from Intu said the consortium said that as a result of the turbulent landscape, it was “not able to proceed with an offer within a timeframe which is manageable within the confines of the code timetable”.

It had been handed three extensions to a put-up-or-shut-up deadline, which was due to expire at 5pm tomorrow.

6.45am Profits slump at Ikea franchise partner Ingka

Ikea has suffered a slump in full-year earnings after investing in opening smaller stores and improving its ecommerce business.

Pre-tax profits at Ingka, the company that operates most of Ikea’s stores, fell 36% to €2.1bn (£1.8bn) in the year to August 31.

Group sales increased 2% to €37bn (£32.8bn).

In Ingka’s retail division, which consists of 367 Ikea stores, sales grew 4.7% on a constant currency basis, buoyed by a 45% spike in online sales and the launch of 12 new stores, including its first in India.