Former Peacocks boss Richard Kirk has stepped down as chief executive of Poundstretcher after just three months in the role.

It is understood differences of opinion about the future of the 400-store value retailer caused Kirk to exit just three months after his appointment in May.

Poundstretcher has had five different chief executives in the past six years.

A source close to the situation told Retail Week that Kirk had wanted to develop the chain so it could compete against rival value chains B&M Bargains and Family Bargains by modernising stores, reviewing the supply chain and looking to professionalise the business.

However, Poundstretcher’s owner Aziz Tayub was keen to continue operating the business as usual, it is understood.

Kirk was also unable to negotiate a deal with Tayub over buying a stake in the business.

The value retailer has had a difficult trading past but just last year hit profit for the first time since 2005.

It is understood Tayub is not currently seeking a new chief executive and that Kirk is continuing to advise the business.

Kirk’s departure follows a string of changes at the top.

Retail Week revealed in July that Kirk had drafted in a management team who had all worked with him at Peacocks. It is understood some of the team will remain at Poundstretcher, while others are also departing the company.

Kirk left his chief executive role at Peacocks when the value fashion chain was forced into administration in January after he was unable to negotiate a deal with the retailer’s banks to save the chain.

Poundstretcher would not comment on the situation.