SKELMERSDALE-based out-of-town discount chain Matalan has lost two senior board members.
According to weekend reports, commercial director Adrian Mountford and sourcing director Margaret Melville have stood down from the board.
Mr Mountford had been at the retailer for less than two years, having previously headed up the Tu clothing brand at Sainsbury’s.
Ms Melville had spent more than a decade at Matalan in a variety of roles.
Last month Matalan revealed that sales in the five weeks to December 29 had fallen 1.5%, compared with a 10% rise in like-for-like sales, involving the same number of stores, a year ago.
However, the business said that, despite the fall in sales, it had increased its profit margins by restricting the level of discounts on goods.
Chief executive Darren Blackhurst said the retail market “remains challenging”.
Matalan was founded in 1985 by John Hargreaves, the son of a Liverpool docker.
A source claimed that the Hargreaves family had taken a joint decision to “streamline the board”.
It has prompted speculation that it could mean the start of a bid by Mr Hargreaves to sell the business, although Matalan declined to comment.
Matalan announced in May last year that it was planning to relocate its current Skelmersdale HQ and its 1,200 staff to a new site on Knowsley Industrial Park.
The multi-million pound facility is part of the regeneration of the former Petrolite site and the Galaxy Distribution Centre in Knowsley and will provide a 46 acre head office, storage and distribution facility which will be leased to Matalan.
The 132,000 sq ft corporate headquarters will be arranged over three floor levels, with extensive car parking in a woodland setting on the edge of the industrial park.
The approved planning application also includes a 100,000 sq ft extension to the neighbouring 500,000 sq ft Galaxy distribution facility, which will house modern product handling and storage facilities.
Construction work should begin early this year with a 2014 completion date forecast.