Matalan has lost two of its most senior directors just weeks after the retailer revealed sales fell 1.5% over Christmas due to a reduction in discounting.

Commercial director Adrian Mountford and sourcing director Margaret Melville have both left the value fashion chain, it has emerged.

Mountford was at Matalan for less than two years. He moved from Sainsbury’s where he was in charge of the grocer’s own clothing brand Tu.

Clarke had been involved with Matalan for over a decade in various roles.

The retailer’s chief executive Darren Blackhurst said Matalan had made margin gains over Christmas as it did not resort to the same level of discounting as the previous year.

Matalan’s founders, the Hargreaves family, had decided to “streamline the board”, a source told the Daily Mail.

The changes prompted speculation that founder John Hargreaves is readying the business for a sale.

The fashion and homewares retailer’s EBITDA jumped 8.6% to £45.3m in its third quarter to November 24 despite sales falling to £309.5m.