Former Somerfield and Matalan boss Paul Mason is expected to become chairman of private equity-backed fashion and homewares retailer Cath Kidston.

Mason, who stood down as Somerfield chief executive in March last year after selling the grocer to the Co-op for £1.7bn, is expected to help steer Cath Kidston’s growth at home and abroad.

He brings wide-ranging fashion experience and mass-market retail expertise. Mason was previously president of Levi’s Europe, is chairman of upscale handbags and accessories brand Radley and held top roles at Asda.

Private equity firm TA Associates took a majority stake in Cath Kidston in April this year in a deal understood to have been worth £100m. The retailer, famous for its floral designs and distinctive Britishness, has 32 shops and concessions in the UK and has identified big opportunities overseas, where at present it has eight stores in Japan and one in Kuwait.

Mason’s appointment had not formally been made as Retail Week went to press but was said to be imminent. Cath Kidston declined to comment. It is understood Mason was placed in the role by headhunter Heidrick & Struggles, which also brought Simon Burke into HobbyCraft as chairman earlier this month.