Thomas Cook To Close 50 Stores In Move Online
UK-based travel group Thomas Cook has announced plans to close 50 of its stores in Britain as part of a review of its retail network.
The company said the outlets that will close are either near other stores or have seen “a decline in footfall [that] has impacted profitability.”
The locations scheduled to close include both Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel branded stores, with up to 400 staff affected. The closures will happen between now and March next year.
Cook’s said the High Street shops remain an important channel to showcase its holidays and “provide expertise and reassurance to customers.” But while 47 percent of Thomas Cook holidays were booked in stores this year, 46 percent of group bookings are now made online.
“We continually review our network of stores across the UK to make sure we’re offering customers the best of Thomas Cook, and it is clear that to succeed we have to operate as a truly omni-channel business,” Director of Retail and Customer Experience Kathryn Darbandi said.
“We’re one Thomas Cook to our customers and we will offer them a world-class service whichever channel they chose to book, be that retail or online.”
Prior to the announced cuts, Thomas Cook had 692 stores in the UK after cutting the size of its network by 45 percent over the last five years.