Co-operative Travel & Thomas Cook
Joint Venture Update: 14/12/2011
Store Closures Announced
The joint venture between the Co-operative Travel, Midlands Co-operative Travel and Thomas Cook has confirmed that it intends to close 115 high street outlets.
The stores at risk are those that are failing to achieve financial performance levels; are co-located with other stores in the JV estate; or have lease options that accommodate a withdrawal. The 115 stores consist of 60 from the Thomas Cook/Going Places estate; 47 from the Co-operative Travel estate; and 8 from the Midlands Co-operative Travel estate.
When the initial consultation commenced with the Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-operative Travel in 2010, NACO recognised that the formation of the enterprise and the opportunity to realise synergies would likely lead to rationalisation and job losses. However, the JV was seen as the best option available to ensure the long term future for the vast majority of colleagues employed in the travel divisions of the two Societies.
Thomas Cook has commenced consultation with NACO on the proposals and will continue to do so during the forthcoming weeks. NACO recognises that this is a very unsettling period for colleagues in the stores and the operational management team that supports the store network. We will work with Thomas Cook to try and keep job losses to a minimum and seek redeployment opportunities where possible.
Any members who wish to discuss the situation can contact the NACO National Office
NACO has been involved in consultation with the JV since it formally began operations on 4th October 2011 as to what impacts may arise from the three founding organisations coming together.
One of the major concerns that had been raised with NACO by the membership was that of the location of the various support functions for the new business. The former Co-operative businesses had locations in Manchester, Burslem, Lichfield, Ilkeston and Barrow. Thomas Cook Head Office is based in Peterborough and there was a fear that all roles would simply be transferred to one site in Peterborough.
As a consequence of the ongoing consultations we are very pleased that there has been an agreement to utilise alternative Thomas Cook sites in Altrincham and Accrington as well as the Peterborough Head Office.
The proposed transfer of activity can be summarised as follows:
- E-Commerce will be for Co-operative Travel and Midlands Co-operative will relocate to Altrincham
- Cruise business will be based at the Thomas Cook site in Accrington with opportunities for members to relocate from Barrow and a number of home working roles will be created
- Co-operative Travel Management (including Events Management) will relocate to Altrincham
- Spectrum (Sales & Operations) will relocate to Accrington
- Spectrum (Product & Commercial) is still under consideration
- Operations Support (Sunlight) Future/Web/Freedom/Barrow all to move to Altrincham subject to final consultation on structures
- Escape Beach & Cities will close down towards the end of February 2012 with sales moving to the Flexibletrips system
Whilst this is a good message for many, there will be a number of colleagues for whom the proposals will not be positive. NACO will continue to work with the business to minimise job losses and seek redeployment opportunities.
Any members wishing to discuss the situation should speak with a NACO official by contacting the NACO National Office.