Thomas Cook closing 200 shops

The debt riddled Thomas Cook travel operator announced this week that it would have to close about 200 stores located across the UK, including one regional branch in Skegness.

The first 11 closures will take place over the next two years but theLumley Roadbranch will be safe from  closure, although its sister Co-Operative travel site that is found inside of the Beales department store will be part of the closures.

A Thomas Cook spokesman confirmed that the Skegness Co-Operative Travel store will be closed which will mean all three employees at the store will be made redundant. While this number may be small, as many as one thousand jobs are expected to become redundant by the time all of the stores are closed throughout theUK, with a spokesperson for the travel company stating that they feel that the town’s needs can be served by the branches that are left open.

In terms of the people in Skegness, the spokesman stated that the Lumley Road store should be enough to help out locals, and there is of course support online at the travel website www.thomascook.com that can help people looking to make travel arrangements as well.

Glenis Brown, the chairman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce stated that they are worried that there will be jobs lost because of the closure and that while they may be doing well when you compare Skegness to other neighboring towns they still worry when there is any loss of jobs.

She added that the only solution is to hope these people are able to find jobs and for the town to grit its teeth and continue to work at surviving as they have been over the past few years. Brown did add that overall, it is still lucky that the Lumley Road branch will remain open because there are many people that come into the town and they should be happy for what they still have so that they can continue to fight back even during the hard times.

Although Thomas Cook reported losses of £398 pre-tax this year, the company hopes that it will be able to streamline its branches and continue to help customers make travel arrangements.  It recently merged with the Midlands Co-Operative travel division and Co-Operative Travel and was forced to look at its retail network and consider which stores needed to remain open and whichcould be closed.

The CEO and chairman of Thomas Cook, Ian Allies, stated that they think that the stores that are left open will be perfectly placed for customers and that they have chosen to leave high street stores, since they have proven to be a popular option for customers to book travel arrangements from.