Thomas Cook Haverhill set to close
Thomas Cook is set to close it’s Haverhill branch, with five members of staff now facing uncertainty over their futures.
The High Street store is one of 195 that the struggling travel agent plans to shut across the country while retaining 874.
The proposed closures were announced as part of a 90-day consultation that began last Wednesday (6) as part of a three-year programme to transfrom the business.
Joanna Wild, managing director of the Thomas Cook Co-operative retail network, said: “As a large retailer we regularly review our network to make sure we have the right stores in the right places for our customers, and regrettably there are occasions where we need to close certain branches.
“Following the announcement that the Haverhill Thomas Cook store is proposed to close, we are now working with those colleagues who are potentially affected.
“We’d like to thank both our colleagues and customers for the commitment and understanding during this process.
“Our high street stores are a popular way for customers to book with us and are an essential part of our multi-channel approach alongside our websites and sales centres.”
Elsewhere in the region, Thomas Cook plans to shut its Halstead store and Co-operative Travel stores in Market Road, Chelmsford, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, Teso Harlow, Carr Street, Ipswich and Fretherne Road, Welwyn Garden City.
Thomas Cook currently employs 15,500 people in the UK, and around 2,500 will lose their jobs if the changes go through.
With 1,069 UK stores Thomas Cook is the largest High Street travel retailer.
In addition to the closures there will be changes at core stores and to some terms and conditions.
A number of management and administrative roles at head offices in Peterborough and Preston will also be in jeopardy, and the Accrington office is set to close.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK and Ireland’s chief executive officer, said: “It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people, but we also owe it to our customers to shape the business effectively and ensure that, when they book their holiday with us, our administrative costs are as low as possible.
“As we improve and develop our online capabilities, maintaining a strong presence on the High Street is an important part of our omni-channel strategy.
“Even after these changes we will still have one of the largest retail networks in UK travel.
“It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company, allowing us to meet the future needs of our customers more effectively.
“These proposals will mean a stronger Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK dedicated to providing excellent holiday experiences to our 23 million customers.
“We are in consultation with our unions and employee representative bodies to minimise the impact of these changes and I am speaking personally to all employees today to provide information and support through this period of consultation.”
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (March 21) Echo.
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Weather for Haverhill
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: East