There was a sparkling celebration as Thomas Cook officially opened its latest concept store in Peterborough.
Customers, staff and directors gathered to mark the opening of the new Discovery store at the Serpentine Green shopping centre, in Hampton.
The company says the new store, which has created 15 jobs, took 20 workmen 200 hours from the beginning of August to get ready for opening.
It is one of just nine Discovery stores opened by Thomas Cook in the UK and all are sited in locations that enjoy a high footfall.
Store manager Brooke Whiley, who has 12 years’ service with Thomas Cook, said: “The emphasis is on making the store warm and welcoming for customers. We’ve decluttered it and everything is of a high specification.”
Large digital screens in the windows keep customers informed about campaigns and products.
In an effort to be sustainable and to target holiday information, the traditional racks of brochures have been replaced with a “brochure wall” set behind the main counter.
Customers can view their holiday through virtual reality before booking. Appointments with travel consultants can be made online through its Qudini system.
Chris Mottershead, managing director for Thomas Cook UK and Ireland, said: “It is a competitive marketplace and we have to place our stores where our customers are if we are to remain relevant.
“The majority of our sales still come through our stores. People want the reassurance of face to face contact with our staff.”
Kathryn Darbandi, director of retail and customer experience, said: “We have been a leading employer in Peterborough for 43 years and are delighted to strengthen this even further.”