Peterborough-based holiday giant Thomas Cook announces plans to close 50 stores

Thomas Cook is planning to close 50 stores across the UK.
Thomas Cook is planning to close 50 stores across the UK.
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Holiday giant Thomas Cook has unveiled plans to close 50 stores as it overhauls its UK retail network

The tour operator, which employs 1,100 people at its head office in Westpoint, in Lynch Wood, Peterborough, says the stores have been chosen either because of declining footfall or the proximity of another Thomas Cook store.

None of the 50 stores, which are a mix of Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel branded outlets, are in Peterborough or Cambridgeshire.

The closures are expected to take place next March and staff are currently being consulted.

Kathryn Darbandi, director of retail and customer experience, said: “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.

"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.”

Thomas Cook says its stores are an important way to showcase its holiday offering and also provide expertise and reassurance to customers.

In 2017, 47 per cent of Thomas Cook holidays were booked in store.

Its online sales in the UK grew by 27 per cent, which the company says shows further progress in its strategy to become an omni-channel travel business.