Britain’s biggest holiday company, TUI, revealed that it would be closing 166 of its 516 high street stores across the UK and Ireland. The crushing blow to the travel and tourism industry will cost 900 jobs.
However, it is likely many of the jobs could be saved by redeployment.
Reportedly, a new team will be created which will include a home-working sales and service team.
The TUI news comes after the airline and holiday company announced last month that it would be closing 70 stores in France.
The move saw nearly 600 people lose their jobs.
Managing director Andrew Flintham said in a statement that these “difficult” decisions have to be made.
He said: “We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.
“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.
“Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70 percent of all TUI UK bookings taking place online.
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“We believe Covid-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.
“We have world-class travel advisers at TUI, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”
This is a developing story, please refresh for updates
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