Furniture Village commercial and finance director Ed Duggan has left the retailer and been replaced by Claire Shiels, who becomes the first female board member.

Duggan stepped down last month in a bid to find a role closer to central London. Furniture Village is based in Slough.

Duggan said: “I’ve had a great seven years at Furniture Village but the time is right for me to move on.”

Duggan said he was eyeing roles in central London across all retail sectors and had a couple of “reasonably advanced” options on the table.

Shiels, who was director of finance and has been with the retailer for 14 years, becomes finance and IT director. Operations director Eamon Wynne takes on Duggan’s commercial responsibilities.

Furniture Village owner Peter Harrison said the structure would benefit merchandising, systems and supply chain, leading to quicker lead times and an improved service.

Harrison said the 39-store retailer had invested in marketing and free delivery to achieve market gains.

Harrison said: “We have to give customers a reason to buy. You can’t show fear in this market. You’ve got to go for it.”

Harrison said in April the business was double digit up on last year as wet weather helped drive shoppers to retail parks and investment in online paid off.