Mothercare’s UK head of retail for the UK, Jeff Fagan, is to leave the maternity specialist less than a year after taking up the role.

The reason for his surprise departure has not been disclosed, but it comes as Mothercare battles to restore its fortunes in its home market after losing ground to specialist rivals, the grocers and online competitors.

The fightback is being led by new chief executive Simon Calver, who joined Mothercare in April, and UK managing director Mike Logue, the former Asda commercial director who jumped ship to Mothercare last autumn.

Last month Calver unveiled his revival plan, which he expects to implement over the next three years. He intends to focus on a more profitable base of about 200 stores, improving value, product innovation and better customer service.

Last year Mothercare’s UK sales slid 4.6% to £560m and the retailer made a loss in its domestic market of £24.7m, versus a profit of £11.1m then previous year.

Fagan took up his position at Mothercare last October. Before that he ran his own consultancy and set up Argos’s Indian business.