Former Thomas Cook chiefs Chris Mottershead, Kathryn Darbandi and Nicki Tempest-Mitchell have been appointed by Barrhead parent Travel Leaders Group to project manage Barrhead’s nationwide expansion plan.
The announcement follows Barrhead and parent Travel Leaders Group’s announcement last week it was seeking to grow Barrhead’s retail network by up to 100 stores.
A UK-wide recruitment drive to hire former Thomas Cook employees is already under way, and the expansion team will work strategically to implement new store openings across the country.
Mottershead will coordinate the expansion effort, with Darbandi and Tempest-Mitchell supporting him by harnessing their combined 60 years of experience to deliver the growth strategy and help develop the Barrhead brand across new locations.
“Chris, Kathryn and Nicki have an extensive knowledge of the travel retail industry and are very well placed to identify the locations and teams necessary to create a successful retail footprint across the UK,” said Travel Leaders Group chairman Mike Batt.
Barrhead president Jacqueline Dobson added: “Chris and the expansion team will bring valuable insights and experience to help extend Barrhead Travel’s quality service to new communities, and we look forward to the first of many new store openings under this initiative.
“It is gratifying to see that they reflect our group values: prizing people development, customer experience and dedication to the high street travel agent.”
Catherine Finlan and Phil Hudson-Evans, recently added members of the expansion team, have already begun working on the logistics of opening stores, recruitment and training for the new stores.
Dobson noted that other recently hired Cook employees are currently undergoing specially devised training programmes at the Glasgow training academy.
She continued: “As well as taking on former Thomas Cook employees within our existing store network, we are actively recruiting in new areas across the UK. We have identified a number of locations and are currently in negotiations to secure premises.
“The former Thomas Cook employees are hugely talented and we are keen to work with them to reopen new state-of-the-art stores in their local communities as soon as possible.”