Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

10.02am Revo appoints new president

The retail property body has elected JLL’s head of retail and leisure Tim Vallance to become president in 2021.

Chief executive Ed Cooke said: “Tim is a proven leader in our sector, with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and extensive experience across the retail and leisure markets, both in and out of town.

“Tim is well placed to take the leadership of Revo forward in 2021 and continue our work in uniting Government, local authorities, owners and occupiers to ensure the future health of our urban environments.”

8.20am Walmart rolls out robot cleaners that collect data

Walmart will roll out 360 robotic cleaners across the US that will clean its stores and collect data in the process.

The robots are powered by Brain Corp, a San Diego-based technology company that has partnered with Walmart.

The floor scrubbers use sensors that can perceive the surrounding environment. The robot maps out different routes it can follow inside the store and scans its surroundings for people and obstacles, meaning it can operate in crowded stores.

Its sensors allow the robots to collect useful analytical data, which could provide Walmart with information about peak shopping hours or “which shelves are empty”, a Walmart spokesman told NBC News.

7.50am Mattress-in-a-box retailer Eve Sleep raises investor funds

Woodford Investment Management intends to invest £8m, representing 29.9% of shareholdings, in Eve Sleep while current investor Channel 4, which provides advertising services to the company, will subscribe for £900,000.

Eve Sleep chair Paul Pindar will invest £1m and chief executive James Sturrock will take £20,000.

Eve Sleep revealed that trading since its last update on November 15 had remained strong and it had a “very good” Black Friday.

Sales for the 11 months to November 30 hit £33m and revenue for the year is expected to be above market expectations.

7.31am Clas Ohlson to close all UK stores

Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson will close all its stores in the UK following years of losses.

The retailer currently has six stores in the UK where it opened 10 years ago.

It is also closing its German operation, which consists of four stores. The closures will affect 150 employees and cost 210 million kronor.

7.17am Sales slip as under-pressure Ted Baker launches hugging probe

Ted Baker sales slipped 0.2% in its last quarter as it hires law firm Herbert Smith Freehills to investigate workplace harassment claims.

Herbert Smith Freehills has been hired following the launch of an online petition from Ted Baker staff, which claimed that boss Ray Kelvin has hugged workers and kissed their necks and ears.

The law firm will report into a committee of the company’s non-executive directors that will be chaired by Sharon Baylay.

7.12am Deliveroo riders defeated in High Court  over collective bargaining

A union acting for a group of Deliveroo riders was defeated in the High Court yesterday over whether they were entitled to collective bargaining rights in a decision that could determine the future of the gig economy.

The court ruled that the Deliveroo riders are self-employed and therefore not allowed to collectively bargain through a trade union as they were not employees.

A spokesperson for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said the decision was “a terrible one” and they would appeal.

Dan Warne, Deliveroo’s UK managing director, said: “We are pleased that today’s judgment upholds the earlier decisions of the High Court and the Central Arbitration Committee that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, providing them the flexibility they want. In addition to emphatically confirming this under UK national law, the court also carefully examined the question under European law and concluded riders are self-employed.” 

Uber is waiting on the Court of Appeal to see if it will reverse an earlier judgment that said some of its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.