Scotland business

Barrhead Travel announces plans for 100 new stores

Barrhead Travel store in Belfast Image copyright Barrhead Travel

Scottish travel agent Barrhead Travel has announced plans to open up to 100 new UK stores and rehire "a significant number" of former Thomas Cook staff.

The proposed locations have not been revealed, but it is understood most of the new stores will be in England.

Plans are said to be "well advanced", with the first of the stores set to open within the next two months.

Barrhead currently runs 76 outlets in Scotland as well as Newcastle, Cumbria, Southampton, Leicester and Belfast.

The firm is owned by US travel specialist Travel Leaders Group.

Thomas Cook collapsed last month after 178 years in business. This week rival Hays Travel announced it was buying all 555 Thomas Cook shops in the UK, adding that it had already offered jobs to 600 former staff.

Mike Batt, chairman of Barrhead's US owner Travel Leaders Group, said: "We totally support what Hays Travel has done and believe it is good for the travel industry.

"Since our acquisition of Barrhead Travel, we have been exploring ambitious expansion plans for this trusted brand.

"The situation with Thomas Cook has accelerated those plans.

"This plan could provide hundreds of available jobs for Thomas Cook employees who were displaced by the closure of the branches."

He added that they hoped to open new locations "as soon as possible... depending on finding the right locations and hiring experienced staff".

Last year Barrhead's revenues rose by 6.6% to £320m, although pre-tax profits were down.

The firm attributed its revenue growth to increased sales of solo holidays, adventure travel, cruising and touring.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites