Furniture chain Habitat has poached lifestyle fashion chain Fat Face’s finance director Shaun Wills as its new chief operating officer.

Wills, who will join early next year in the newly created position, will be responsible for ecommerce, property and maintenance, logistics, business information systems, HR and finance.

The appointment forms part of the struggling furniture retailer’s plans to strengthen the management team under owner Hilco, the restructuring firm that acquired the business from Ikea founders the Kampard family in December.

Habitat chairman Phil Wrigley said Wills brought a “wealth of retailing experience and knowledge with him” and would “focus on Habitat’s core business of manufacturing, distributing and selling desirable affordable products”.

Wrigley added that Wills would help “drive the growth and success” of the brand. Before joining Fat Face, Wills was strategy and business development director at New Look and previously held a number of senior positions at Debenhams.

Habitat is also close to appointing a new chief executive.

Wills is the second former New Look executive Habitat has hired this year, after appointing the fashion chain’s former boss Wrigley as chairman in June. Habitat also hired former Fat Face executive Gary Waldron as retail director in July.

Fat Face has suffered a string of exits in recent months, including ecommerce and communications director Dan Miles, who left in August less than four months after taking the role, and home shopping director Kristine Kirby, who left in May.

Fat Face said Wills would leave in the next six months and its finance team would assume his responsibilities while it finds a replacement.