Barrhead Travel to rehire Thomas Cook staff

Scottish Travel agent plans 100 new stores

The BBC reportBarrhead Travel Store that Scottish travel agent Barrhead Travel has revealed plans to open up to 100 new UK stores which will involve rehiring “a significant number” of former Thomas Cook staff.

The proposed locations have not been announced, but it is understood most of the new stores will be in England, although plans are thought to be well advanced, and stores could be open  in a couple of months.

Barrhead Travel is owned by the US company Travel Leaders Group and has 76 outlets at the moment in Scotland, with 4 in England. Mike Batt, chairman of Travel Leaders Group, is quoted by the BBC: “We totally support what Hays Travel has done (in acquiring all 555 shops of the collapsed Thomas Cook chain) and believe it is good for the travel industry. Since our acquisition of Barrhead Travel, we have been exploring ambitious expansion plans for this trusted brand. The situation with Thomas Cook has accelerated those plans. This could provide hundreds of available jobs for Thomas Cook employees who were displaced by the closure of the branches.”

The firm attributed its revenue growth to increased sales of solo holidays, adventure travel, cruising and touring. Still not sure this business model works, with such high overheads compared to online firms, but I guess if they can negotiate the right deals with cruise companies in particular, they can offer a service not really available online – or if it is it is not discounted.

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