Borders set for expansion after management rejig

Borders UK is counting down to a big expansion push, following a review of operations.

Borders UK operations director Rob Farnworth, who was appointed in February, has completed an initial review of the operational structure.

Changes will facilitate a drive for growth designed to take the retailer, which also owns Books etc, to more than 1 million sq ft (92,900 sq m) of trading space by the end of next year.

At present, Borders' 24 superstores and 29 Books etc outlets measure about 800,000 sq ft (74,320 sq m).

Farnworth has appointed three district managers: Paul Thompson, Neil Stark and Paul Lucas. They will work alongside two regional managers to support the expanding business.

'With considerable expansion scheduled over the next couple of years they (regional managers) are stretched, and the district managers will give them much needed support,' Farnworth said.

The increase in space, a rise of about 25 per cent, will equal about 10 Borders superstores. The retailer is understood to be locked in negotiations for sites to secure the expansion.

The district managers will focus on smaller stores, the regional managers on bigger, city centre stores.

The changes mean that Borders UK has merged the retail operation of its Books etc and Borders chains, following a strategy already implemented across other departments, such as buying and marketing.

Borders UK's most recent opening was a 6,000 sq ft (560 sq m) Books etc store at Southside shopping centre, Wandsworth, London at the beginning of this month.