Published on Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Thomas Cook to rebrand its homeworking division
Thomas Cook is to rename its Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors homeworking division to The Freedom Personal Travel Advisors.
The new name, as well as a brand new look and feel for both the homeworking division and the independent agent group, The Freedom Travel Group, will come into effect on Sunday December 3.
Although The Freedom Travel Group and The Freedom Personal Travel Advisors will continue to operate separately, this move will see the 135 homeworkers and 150 Freedom members become more aligned and work together more closely as the Freedom name becomes consumer-facing for the first time.
Kelly Cookes, head of The Freedom Travel Group and The Co-operative Personal Travel Advisors said: "This is an exciting time for us and we are working on plans to support the new branding. Freedom is a strong name in the industry and aligning our brands provides even more opportunities that will benefit both our homeworkers and consortia members."
The new branding, which will include a new logo, website and marketing materials will be unveiled at the group's annual conference in December.
The 50 store closures, if agreed, will take place between now and March 2018 and will be around two thirds Thomas Cook stores and a third Co-operative Travel, a spokesperson confirmed.
Around 400 people will be affected but the spokesperson added that the group anticipated "a large proportion would be redeployed".
The stores affected are either in close proximity to others or are located “where a decline in footfall has impacted profitability”.
The latest news caps a turbulent year for the brand, which dropped to third place among licensed tour operators in October, behind Jet2holidays. Cook also announced the closure of 39 shops in February and 17 in May, plus the loss of 51 homeworking jobs in April.
Thomas Cook UK’s director of retail and customer experience Kathryn Darbandi said: “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 omni-channel 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.”
In 2017, 47% of Thomas Cook holidays were booked in store, but online sales in the UK grew by 27%.