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No redundancies promised as Thomas Cook plans closure of 12 stores

From very humble beginnings when the young Thomas Cook in 1841 organised an excursion by train to take a group of 540 temperance campaigners from Leicester Campbell Street railway station to a rally in Loughborough, eleven miles away form this was born the giant holiday organisation that we see today.

When the package holiday revolution began with a holiday to Palma in 1952, then Lourdes in 1953, quickly followed by other destinations, to book these packages high street travel agents were used. Today more of us are using the internet and logging onto tour operators websites, or airlines and individual hotels on a DIY basis.

This has meant that fewer of us are using traditional high street agents and Thomas Cook has not been immune to this. Over the last few years, the company’s retail division has seen closures as shop leases come up for renewal, in 2011and 2013 a total of 395 stores closed, resulting in a high number of redundancies.

Once again the company has had to announce that it is to close 12 outlets this summer, but has plans to expand into new locations, this is all part of the review of the retail network. Currently they plan to close eight stores in the last week of May and a further four in the week of August 29; of these eight are Co-operative Travel Shops, the reaming four being Thomas Cook agencies.

The good news for employees is that there will be no redundancies and the forty one staff involved is to be relocated to other branches. In spite of these announced closure as well as the previous closures, the group still has 796 stores in the UK. The areas where the stores are to close are at Banstead, Bolton, Carterton, Clifton, Grange-over-Sands, Harrogate, Manchester, Melton Mowbray, Perth, Solihull, Wakefield and Wembley.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook Kathryn Darbandi, said that it was necessary to close these stores due to leases ending, but they had not ruled out opening new shops, it is all about changes in demand with delivering profitable returns, she commented.

Thomas Cook remains a major operator in the holiday market with its mix of flights, cruises and a variety of holiday packages.

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