Hobbycraft has appointed retail veteran and Asda savior Archie Norman as its new chairman, Retail Week can reveal.

Norman will succeed Simon Burke who will step down from the board in spring next year.

Norman is a stellar hire for the retailer. He is currently chairman of ITV as well as financial advisory firm Lazard London and is also non-executive director of Australian supermarket group Coles.

He is also a former finance director of Kingfisher and is recognised for leading the turn-around of Asda and later becoming its chairman when it was sold to Walmart.  He also served as an MP for eight years until 2005, and was chief executive of the Conservative Party.

Norman has been tasked with taking Hobbycraft into its next development phase in 2014 as the retailer concludes its current three-year strategy.

Hobbycraft chief executive Catriona Marshall said: “Archie is one of the most highly regarded businessmen in the UK today who has also been a leading player in the UK retail scene. 

“He will bring much to Hobbycraft and we all look forward to working with him at a time when we are investing heavily in the final stages of our business change programme.”

Hobbycraft said Burke wants to focus on his growing commitments elsewhere and thanked him for his “invaluable contribution”.