Thomas Cook has announced plans to close 21 stores that will put 320 jobs at risk. The Thomas Cook Group’s leisure brand began in 1841 and has bout up a customer base of 19million and the closures mean the brand will soon have 566 shops. It has attributed the shutting down of stores to Britons increasingly booking their holidays online. Web bookings made up 64 per cent of Thomas Cook’s business in 2018.
Thomas Cook store closures are as follows:
Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne
West Bromwich Sandwell Centre, West Midlands
Llandudno, North Wales
Sunderland Sainsbury’s, Tyne & Wear
North Shields, Tyne & Wear
Peterlee, County Durham
Market Harborough, 23 St Marys Place, Leicestershire
Bury Haymarket, Lancashire
Aberdeen Langstane, Aberdeen
Shipley, West Yorkshire
Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire
Glenrothes, 52 Unicorn Way, Fife
Colchester High St, Essex
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
Kirkintilloch Cowgate, Glasgow
Thomas Cook’s chief of tour operating, Will Waggott, said: “Today’s announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the high street, with more and more customers choosing to book online.
“These measures will help us to drive greater efficiencies across Thomas Cook so that we relentlessly focus our resources in those areas that give us the greatest opportunity to make a difference to customers in our core holiday offering.
“Looking ahead, we will be working to ensure that Thomas Cook is fit for the future, putting a rigorous focus on costs in a competitive environment while giving customers more reasons to holiday with the strongest brand in travel.”
What is the impact of the Thomas Cook closures on customers who have booked their holidays with the provider?
It is currently unclear what the impact will be for holidaymakers who have booked their vacations in one of the affected stores.
Thomas Cook has not yet addressed this.
Yet as it is the stores, not the business, that has closed holidaymakers should be protected.
They are advised to contact their Thomas Cook store for further details.
Meanwhile, George Charles from money-saving website, moneysavingheroes.co.uk said of the closures: “People crave convenience which is why they much prefer booking holidays online instead of going into a travel agent because it is just so much easier, quicker and often cheaper.
“The customer can compare prices in an instant and they don’t have to be sat down for hours on end, looking through multiple hotels and holidays that aren’t appropriate for what they want.
“There is also a level of mistrust with travel agents; they may be saying they are offering you the best deal in-store but the same package could well be cheaper if you’re able to shop around online.”
“Travel agents may also be starting to lose business with Brexit round the corner as everything is up in the air and many consumers may be hesitant to part with their hard-earned cash.”
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