Furniture retailer Lombok has drafted in a former Tesco executive as it strengthens its management team and returns to profitability.

Stuart Lewis joins from Tesco as retail director. Lombok has also hired Denise Burns as buying and merchandising director. Burns joins this month from Alghanim Industries, Kuwait’s largest home furnishings retailer, where she was head of buying and merchandising.

Earlier this year the retailer hired Martin Toogood as chairman, as revealed by Retail Week (February 12). Toogood was previously chief executive of defunct furniture chain Ilva.

Lombok managing director William Landale, who initiated a business turnaround after it was bought out of pre-pack administration in July by a consortium led by private equity firm Privet Capital, said Lombok is now “trading profitably”.

Like-for-likes in 2010 are showing “an uplift, primarily as a result of improved operating efficiencies across the business”, including improvements in stock availability, marketing and the introduction of new product ranges, according to Landale.

Lombok has also benefited from “significant cost savings” through rent negotiations.

Landale has also overseen improvements in Lombok’s online offering and reorganised the retailer’s warehousing facilities. He said: “The economic environment remains challenging. However, we are looking forward to capitalising on market opportunities as we implement further improvements to the business.”

Lewis, who takes up his position on May 9, is currently Tesco’s capability manager for the Manage Store Labour Programme across the international arm - comprising 14 countries - where he leads a team of business managers.

He has also held senior management roles at other retailers including Marks & Spencer.