Polka Dot Travel has recruited its first regional sales manager to help the business focus on its continuing growth plans.

The miniple has hired Karen Oates, who will look after the day-to-day running of its 14 shops and help advise on new openings.

Polka Dot is in the process of opening four new shops, in Cannock, Lichfield and Leek in Staffordshire, and Mold in north Wales.

Operations director Mark Johnson recently outlined plans to turbo-charge its growth and take its retail network to 30 shops by the end of 2020.

Oates joined on Monday June 24 from Midcounties Co-Operative Travel, where she was agent support manager for the homeworking division. Before that, she had roles at The Travel Network Group, First Choice and Thomas Cook.

She said: “It’s an exciting place to be because the business is growing.

“I love big independents because they have the choice and range to sell the right products to their customers. I’m extremely excited and raring to go.”

Johnson told Travel Weekly that the appointment of Oates as regional sales manager would allow himself, and joint managing directors Helen Johnson and Philippa Wilcox, to spend more time focusing on expansion plans.