Furniture chain Harveys has hired former Dixons director Stephen Campbell as its new managing director.

He will take over from Ian Topping, who had been overseeing Harveys, will now focus on his permanent position as chief executive of Harveys parent Steinhoff UK.

Campbell held various roles at Dixons and was most recently group service delivery director. Prior to that, he held positions including managing director of PC City International and commercial director of PC World. Campbell left Dixons last year to work as a retail consultant.

It is understood Campbell, who started at the business on Tuesday, has been drafted in to help Harveys drive market share by concentrating on operational excellence, in particular the supply chain.

South African furniture giant Steinhoff also owns furniture chains Bensons for Beds, Cargo, Reid, and Sleepmasters.

Retail Week Knowledge Bank consultant Robert Clark said Campbell’s knowledge of branded goods from working in the electricals sector would help him at Harveys, and that Campbell was likely to review parts of the business, including group-wide sourcing and the high-profile TV sponsorships of programmes such as Coronation Street.

“Harveys has the advantage of being part of a worldwide group, so there are probably further sourcing advantages to be sought,” said Clark.

He added: “Harveys is competing with DFS who has the high ground, so there’s something for Harveys to learn from it. Furniture has been struggling so one senses that Harveys has not been unaffected.”

Campbell said: “I will be spending the next few weeks getting under the skin of the company and then I am very much looking forward to combining my strong background in electricals with the furniture market to move Harveys forward in to 2011.”

The 150-store chain sells sofas and other furniture including beds.

Headhunter Korn Ferry Whitehead Mann is understood to have placed Campbell in the role.

For Retail Week Knowledge Bank’s full Harveys’ profile, go to