Wilkinson chief executive Stuart Mitchell has resigned after six years at the helm.

Mitchell led the discounter through a period of huge expansion, introducing catalogues, online and mobile retailing, re-branding two thirds of the estate and opening a sourcing office in Hong Kong. The store estate also expanded from 273 to 367 during his tenure.

Mitchell spent 20 years at Sainsbury’s, quitting his post as MD of the supermarket giant in 2004. He joined Wilkinson in 2006 following a brief stint in Taiwan with AS Watson.

In a statement, the Wilkinson board said Mitchell’s contribution to the business had been “extraordinarily valuable”.

It added that the business would continue to be led by the current board and executive management team to “maintain the current strategic path and ahead of the recruitment of a new CEO”.