Macellum Advisors has criticised the board of US women's wear retailer Christopher & Banks, suggesting the company consider a sale.

In a letter addressed to chairman Paul Snyder, Macellum said the board has "not exercised good oversight, governance or leadership" and that it was rebuffed when it approached the company on a friendly basis to offer the assistance of several qualified potential directors, including former CEO, Joel Waller.

Macellum owns around 5.2% of the Minnesota-based retailer. It said the company is "an attractive investment opportunity" that has been hurt by an "insular" board.

"Unfortunately, the company trades at a depressed valuation and has dramatically underperformed its peers as well as retail and consumer indexes over the short and long term. There has been a revolving door of CEO's and we believe that, in aggregate, the company's board of directors is not providing the proper oversight and does not have the requisite skill set to lead Christopher & Banks to achieve its full potential," Macellum noted.

"We also believe that the board is insular and would benefit from greater diversity in its composition. Its current make-up is heavily skewed toward Minneapolis-based business people who, we believe, do not have the speciality apparel retailing background required to lift the company from its current state of decline."

In its latest quarter, the company saw sales fall 6.6% to $98m, and gross margin slip to 29.1% from 32.5% a year ago.