The appointment of directors of restructuring specialist Hilco to the board of MFI-owner MEP Mayflower does not signal a need for emergency surgery, sources close to the retailer insist.

Hilco chief executive Paul McGowan and UK chief operating officer Andrew Pepper joined the board in May, it has emerged. This prompted talk that MFI may, like other furniture groups hit by the downturn, be restructured.

Although the retailer is understood to be experiencing tough trading, a source close to the situation said that too much was being read into the duo’s arrival.

At the same time as the pair joined, MFI chief executive Gary Favell resigned from the board of MEP Mayflower. He remains a board member of MFI and associated businesses.

Last month, MFI brought in restructuring expert Kroll Talbot Hughes (KTH). The retailer said: “KTH is helping with our financial reporting systems, operating issues and forecasting. This is not a restructuring issue.”