Tui set to close 166 high street stores
by Laura Gelder
The UK’s largest tour operator, Tui, is set to shut 166 high street shops in the UK and Ireland, impacting up to 900 jobs.
The closures will leave around 350 retail outlets in operation and Tui said it hoped to keep on 630 workers in a mix of sales and home-working roles and in remaining stores.
Tui said in a statement that the decision was due to changes in customer behaviour, including a shift to online, with 70% of all Tui UK bookings taking place on the internet. The company had already announced that it planned to cut around 8,000 jobs globally back in May.
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director of Tui UK and Ireland, said: "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.”
Flintham added: "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.
"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."