Thomas Cook Announces Store Closures, Hundreds Of Jobs At Risk

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Thomas Cook has made an announcement regarding its plans to close 21 of its high street stores which will result in the loss of approximately 320 jobs.

The travel giant said that the closures are part of the plans of the company to “streamline” its retail network in the United Kingdom under an efficiency programme and to address the changing behaviour of the customers.

It pointed to the fact that more and more holidaymakers are already switching online, with web bookings accounting for 64 percent of all of the bookings of Thomas Cook in the United Kingdom in 2018.

The closures will result in the reduction of the retail estate of Thomas Cook to 566 shops. The jobs that are set to be lost include 102 customer-facing positions and another 218 store-based roles to be removed as part of the review.

A consultation process with the affected employees and unions has started.

Will Waggott, the chief of tour operating of the company, stated: “Today’s announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the high street, with more and more customers choosing to book online.”

He added: “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.”

He continued: “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.”

The announcement comes after the travel company said last month that it was exploring some options to sell its airline business amid the growing concerns over the future of the firm.

The shares of Thomas Cook were hit at the end of last year after its third profit warning of 2018 and stinging full-year losses.

The company has been imposed with charges that are related to flight disruptions, transformation costs, and writedowns on money owed by hotels.

It was also hit by delayed demand for its tour holidays because of the summer heatwave.