Tour operator Tui to close 166 stores

TUI Credit Google

TUI Credit Google

High street holiday firm Tui has revealed a plan to close 166 branches, and by "close" it doesn't mean like normal at the end of the day so staff can have dinner and go to bed for a bit, or for a few days while it bleaches the faux leather chairs and pens.

Tui, which has a store in The Arcade, off Newark Market Place, said it hoped to move 70% of the 900 staff affected by the closures to home-working roles.

The travel firm says the move they'd planned further in the future has been accelerated due to the impact of Covid-19.

The affected stores represent around 45pc of those in Ireland and the United Kingdom with around 350 retail stores to remain.

"It is therefore imperative that we make these hard cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service".

Tui said it will not be publishing a list of potential store closures but none of those which have reopened since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased are at risk.

Tui also told the BBC that it had closed overseas customer services centres in Mumbai and Johannesburg in a bid to protect United Kingdom jobs.

With 45% of global tourists opting to buy more products online in a post-pandemic world, it is likely that more United Kingdom travel agents will evaluate their brick and mortar strategies and make this move to trim costs at a time when demand has not yet returned.

Speaking today, Tui managing director Andrew Flintham noted that 70% of Tui's bookings are now made online, and that Covid-19 had only accelerated the trend.

The UK changed its advice after a spike in infections in some Spanish regions, including Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, and Aragon.

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