Hamleys chief executive David Smith will step down from his role in August, after just seven months with the business.

Smith, who was recruited by Hamleys’ Indian owner Reliance Industries in January, will leave at the end of the month, according to Sky News.

The reasons behind Smith’s abrupt departure are currently unclear.

Prior to joining the toy retailer, Smith previously held senior, executive roles at both The Body Shop and Debenhams.

Hamleys has been badly affected by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, with its flagship Regent Street store forced to close in March.

Since reopening, sales are understood to have continued to suffer, with travel restrictions limiting its tourist trade over what would ordinarily be the busy summer season.

The retailer’s West End home has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with footfall down 73% year on year.

Hamleys recorded a loss after tax of £8.58m in its full year results to December 31 2019. This was a 21% improvement year-on-year, compared with the loss before tax of £10.88m for the previous year.

Sales also dipped to £47.5m for the year, from £48.4m in 2018.

In its most recent financial report, the retailer said: “The UK retail market remains challenging in 2020 as spending continues to be impacted by unprecedented consumer uncertainty because of Brexit and Covid. 

“As a result we continue to focus on cost reduction to ensure that profitability of the company is not significantly impacted. The company is continuously striving to improve customer experience and propositions across all formats to ensure long-term sustainability of the business.”

Hamleys also said it was in “regular risk-assessment dialogue with suppliers” over the potential impacts of Brexit on its supply chain.