Thomas Cook Looks to Shut Down 50 UK Stores as Online Sales Increase

© Copyright Roy Hughes

Thomas Cook is thinking about shutting down of 50 of its stores in the United Kingdom as part of its current review of the company’s retail network.

The travel company revealed the proposal on Friday and said that if the plans push through, the shops – a combination of Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel brands – would shut down between now and March of next year.

The stores that are under threat of a shut down are located either near their other stores or where a decrease in foot count has affected profitability, stated Thomas Cook, which operates about 830 retail outlets in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The company’s UK director of retail and customer experience, Kathryn Darbandi, stated: “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 omnichannel 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.”

The company insisted that its retail stores are still an important channel for sales. However, the firm is working to become an omnichannel business. This year, 47 percent of Thomas Cook holidays were booked in-store while online sales in the United Kingdom increased by 27 percent.

Earlier this month, Thomas Cook stated that it plans to branch out to increase profitably, including by building up the company’s own-brand hotel portfolio.