Travel group company Thomas Cook today announces new measures to streamline its UK retail network as part of an ongoing programme to drive greater efficiencies across the business and address changing customer behaviour. More and more holidaymakers are switching online, accounting for 64% of all Thomas Cook bookings in the UK last year. Growth in online has been the fastest in all sales channels, rising by 30% in 2018 with continued strong momentum.
Today’s announcement would see the closure of 21 stores across the country, reducing the UK retail estate to 566 shops, which would result in an expected 102 customer-facing roles being made redundant. A further 218 store-based roles are proposed to be removed across the network following a review of the retail workforce. A consultation process with the affected staff and their union representatives has begun.
Thomas Cook has developed its digital travel applications into some of the most trusted in the market. Customer satisfaction with the UK website, measured by net promoter score, rose 5 points in 2018. In addition, two in five Thomas Cook holidaymakers departing from the UK now use the company’s app to help manage their holiday.
Chief of Tour Operating, Will Waggott, said: “Today’s announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the high street, with more and more customers choosing to book online. These measures will help us to drive greater efficiencies across Thomas Cook so that we relentlessly focus our resources in those areas that give us the greatest opportunity to make a difference to customers in our core holiday offering.
“Looking ahead, we will be working to ensure that Thomas Cook is fit for the future, putting a rigorous focus on costs in a competitive environment while giving customers more reasons to holiday with the strongest brand in travel.”