HobbyCraft has hired Best Buy store acquisitions manager James Yates as its new property director to spearhead its expansion plans.

Yates acquired Best Buy’s first 11 stores and is the latest in a raft of departures from the electricals retailer which is a partnership between US giant Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse.

Since the beginning of the year Best Buy UK has lost chief executive Scott Wheway and online boss DeVere Forster as well as its commercial director and UK marketing director.  Paul Antoniadis - who launched the UK business – left last year, as revealed by Retail Week.

HobbyCraft is ramping up its expansion plans under the ownership of private equity firm Bridgepoint, which bought the business in April.

Yates said: “HobbyCraft has ambitious expansion plans in place; I very much look forward to working with the management team to help develop HobbyCraft’s property strategy.” 

Before his time at Best Buy Yates led the property team at Allied Carpets and has previously worked on new store acquisitions at Arcadia.