TUI To Close 166 High Street Stores After Changes In Customer Habits

TUI shop closures mark turning point for UK travel agents

Travel firm TUI has announced that it is planning to close 166 of its stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

TUI had previously revealed plans to axe 8,000 jobs internationally, and, today said it would seek to transition some 630 of the 900 staff associated with the store closures into homeworking sales and services roles.

"The impacted stores have been selected considering a number of factors, including local market data, consumer trends and predictions on the future of travel", it said.

About 350 retail stores will remain following the closures.

The store on Front Street is still listed as "closed" on the TUI website.

"It is therefore imperative that we make these hard cost decisions and do our best to look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty".


According to the company, United Kingdom jobs will be protected by closing third party overseas customer service centres.

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.

The company said that 70 per cent of Tui bookings are already taking place online and that that coronavirus crisis has accelerated the change.

COVID-19 has accelerated the change in purchasing habits, according to Flintham.

Derek Jones, UK managing director of travel firm Kuoni, told the BBC that he believes the next six months will be "really tricky for the travel industry".

"And while I'm extremely positive and hopeful about the long-term, there is no doubt that the travel industry is heading for a very hard period and that's why we're calling on the government for additional support".

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