Levi Strauss Europe vice-president of retail Mark Saunders has been appointed chief executive of furniture and homewares chain Habitat.

Sources close to the situation said Saunders is due to start his role at the beginning of April and will be based in London.

Saunders’ appointment was announced internally to employees this week.

He replaces Jens Nordahl, who resigned last June to take up a post at Lego Holding.

In the same month, Habitat UK country manager Ruth Dangerfield left the business as the retailer implemented a new organisational structure.
Habitat declined to comment on Saunders’ appointment.

Last year Habitat began a UK property review as part of its plans to revive its fortunes. In September it closed stores in Hammersmith and on Kensington High Street to take space in the Westfield London scheme. In October it closed its Bromley shop in Kent.

The retailer has also increased merchandise densities in an attempt to increase sales. Its Westfield London shop was the first to get the new treatment.