Graham Ash, Tesco's head of clothing, is to leave the supermarket at the end of this month, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.

Mr Ash, who developed the Florence and Fred range, is leaving at the same time that John Hoerner, the former Arcadia chief, joins the company in the new role of chief executive of clothing.

The Daily Mail reported that Mr Ash feels he is being sidelined. His departure will be a blow for Tesco as it tries to boost its clothing sales.

Tesco denied Ash was leaving because of Hoerner's appointment, but said he has resigned without another job to go to. "He decided to leave this week to pursue career opportunities elsewhere."

Tesco has been losing ground to supermarket rivals recently and is keen to grow its non-food business, particularly clothing.