John Lewis has hired former Habitat creative director Theo Williams as its design manager for home, as the department store group looks to widen its appeal in the category.

John Lewis at Home

Williams started this week and is working alongside John Lewis’ home design manager Mockie Harrison, who retires in 2013.

John Lewis buying and brand director Peter Ruis said Williams will enable John Lewis to “push our credentials on hard goods such as furniture and beds”.

Williams will be responsible for the design of John Lewis’ home category and will be charged with making the offer more contemporary.

Ruis added that while the home category is “not the strongest part of the store”, John Lewis has been able to grow its share by 0.4% to 4.3% in the past 12 months. The retailer has opened two more John Lewis at Home standalone stores with an expanded furniture offer.