Property chief moves on as UK business puts expansion on hold

Borders property director Geoff Robotham has quit the books and DVD retailer as the sale of the US retailer’s UK business draws closer.

Robotham has moved to head the property team at new venture Hotel La Tour. He had led the property team at Borders since 1998, moving from property agency Jones Lang LaSalle. The retailer has appointed Russell Evans as property manager to take over Robotham’s duties. Evans was previously head of construction and will retain his responsibilities from the role.

Robotham said: “With the imminent sale of Borders in the UK, expansion plans have been put on hold, so, while there is still a lot to do in terms of property management, the retailer isn’t opening any new stores. Hotel La Tour provides a new challenge and has big expansion plans.”

Hotel La Tour is a new-concept conference and leisure boutique hotel, set up by Norman Bellone, one of the founders of Hayley Conference Centres.

Borders posted its second-quarter figures last week, although it remained tight-lipped about the sale of Borders UK. In the three months to August 4, international sales – including the UK – soared 31.2 per cent to US$169.9 million (£84.1 million), driven by record sales of the final Harry Potter novel. Group sales rose 10.4 per cent to US$945.1 million (£468 million).