Bed specialist Dreams has hired former Woolworths boss Steve Johnson as chairman, replacing John Clare, who is retiring from the retailer.

Dreams said it will benefit from Johnson’s “wealth of retail experience” from businesses including Woolworths, Focus DIY and Asda.

Dreams chief executive Nick Worthington said: “Steve will add an extra dimension to a strong management team helping ensure continued success of the business.”

Johnson was credited with getting Focus DIY into shape to enable a sale to Cerberus for £1 in 2007. He was also hired to help revitalise the fortunes of ailing Woolworths before its collapse.

Before joining Focus, Johnson, a former Bain & Company management consultant, spent seven years at Asda where he carried out a number of roles, culminating in marketing director. He has also been an independent director at Russian grocer Lenta.

Johnson said: “Dreams is a fantastic business and I’m delighted to be joining. Our aim is to continue to grow Dreams, delivering a great night’s sleep to our customers while creating value for stakeholders.”

Johnson joins amid a tough time for the furniture industry. Earlier this month Retail Week revealed that Dreams EBITDA fell from £25.1m to £11.2m in the year to December 24, as it prioritised market share and business investment in a punishing big ticket environment.

Clare, former chief executive of Dixons, has been chairman of Dreams since private equity firm Exponent bought the business in 2008 for £200m. He aims to slim down his non-executive director responsibilities. He is director at Dyson, as well as chairman of property firm Capital & Regional.