The Barclay brothers have decided not to sell or float Shop Direct due to declining investor appetite.

The retailer blamed that lack on the “uncertainty created in the post-election UK environment” and insisted that “retaining the business was always an explicit option given its significant growth potential”.

Owners the Barclay brothers were seeking a £3bn price tag for the etail group and garnered interest from a clutch of private equity firms.

Several firms including former New Look investor Apax Partners and San Francisco-based private-equity house Hellman and Friedman were understood to have tabled bids as recently as last month.

Shop Direct’s transformation under boss Alex Baldock, from declining catalogue retailer to pureplay business, has been accompanied by soaring sales and profits driven by its fashion brand Very.

It reported growing sales for its Christmas period, with sales up 9% in the seven weeks to December 23, compared with 6% last Christmas, with Very generating sales growth of 19%.

A spokesperson said: “At the start of the year the shareholders of Shop Direct decided to review a number of options for the business including a possible partial or full sale.

“At no point did the shareholders commit to a transaction, and retaining the business was always an explicit option given its significant growth potential.

“In recent weeks it has become clear that the appetite of potential bidders has begun to change due to uncertainty created in the post-election UK environment so the shareholders have decided not to pursue discussions further at this stage.

“Shop Direct continues to outperform the market delivering double digit profit growth for the year ended 30 June 2017 and this strong trajectory is expected to continue.”