Skift Take

Thomas Cook’s disastrous merger with The Co-operative Group in 2011 gave it more than 1,200 retail shops at a time when the public was switching to online sales. Gradually it has been trying to reduce this number while at the same time improving those deemed to be in key locations.

UK tour operator Thomas Cook is to close 28 of its 793 shops as it continues to reduce its number of physical outlets.

The company said the decision was driven by changing consumer behavior. Thomas Cook doesn’t detail what it means by that by undoubtedly fewer travelers want to shop in bricks and mortar travel agencies and those who do want them to be modernized and more high-tech.

As well as announcing the closures, Thomas Cook said that it planned to open some new stores in “leading retail locations”, while it also plans to refurbish another 50.

Around 200 people are employed in the affected stores but the company said it expected the vast majority to be redeployed.

The decision to shut a number of its stores follows a company-wide review, which will also see the remaining shop network recategorised into two formats: Thomas Cook Discovery and Thomas Cook Neighbourhood.

The former will be focussed on high foot-fall areas such as shopping malls and out of town retail parks while the latter will be in traditional town centers.

Thomas Cook’s merger of its high street travel business with that of The Co-operative Group in 2011 created a store network of more than 1,200 shops. That’s a number that over the last few years has been gradually reduced

As well as operating a network of travel agencies, Thomas Cook also runs airlines and tour operators. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has operations in 15 source markets.


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: thomas cook, travel agents

Photo credit: Thomas Cooks Lakeside store. The company has announced that it is going to shut 28 of its 793 shops. Thomas Cook

Up Next

Loading next stories