Woolies gets new chief executive

Retail chain Woolworths has appointed former Focus DIY chief Steve Johnson as chief executive. He will replace Trevor Bish-Jones, who left in June after six years at the helm.

Johnson will take on the role on September 1. He was chief executive of Focus DIY for four years and left he company in July last year. During his time there he was credited with turning around the business.

He has also held positions at GUS, the former owner of Argos and Homebase, and supermarket chain Asda.

Woolworths has been suffering a decline in sales, with high street sales falling by 2.2% in the 19 weeks ending June 14 this year.

The troubled retailer has blamed the decline on generating a greater proportion of its sales from its entertainment products, rather than more expensive items such as outdoor products and clothing.

Woolworths chairman Richard North says Johnson brings “the strategic and operational skills that the group needs to help it move to the next stage of development”.

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