Future of Thomas Cook stores in Scunthorpe and Ashby is expected tomorrow
Travel agents Thomas Cook - which has stores in Scunthorpe and Ashby - has entered a 90 day consultation process today that could see 195 shops close across the country.
A decision on the future of the North Lincolnshire stores is expected tomorrow (March 7).
The firm says the consultation has opened with its employees on the next phase of the three-year programme to transform its operations.
Part of the proposal includes closing 195 stores, that puts 2,500 jobs at risk.
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Peter Fankhauser, an experienced Thomas Cook leader has been appointed as UK CEO.
He said: "The UK business needs to reduce cost to ensure back-office costs are not passed on to customers and that the necessary operational changes are made to reflect evolving customer needs, and purchasing requirements.
"The company has 1,069 stores in the UK, making it the largest high street travel retailer.
"A number of these stores do not meet the performance targets of the business, and are in communities where Thomas Cook has more than one retail outlet.
"This consultation aims to address excess capacity, without compromising the omni-channel customer experience."
The consultation will consider plans to:
- Close 195 high street stores, whilst retaining 874 outlets on British high streets. We are also proposing a number of changes to the management of core stores and certain roles within the large store network.
- Place a number of administrative and managerial roles at risk, at Head Offices in Peterborough and Preston, whilst proposing the closure of its Accrington office.- Change some terms and conditions in order to make further efficiencies, thereby safeguarding additional roles
Thomas Cook currently employees15,500 people in the UK and it is anticipated that approximately 2,500 full-time roles will go if the proposed changes go ahead.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland's CEO, 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."