Miniple Tailor Made Travel is set to hit the 20-branch mark with the opening of two new shops in Wales.

The first, in Cwmbran, opened on New Year’s Eve, while an Ebbw Vale branch is due to open in the coming weeks. Both stores will be staffed by former Thomas Cook agents. The independent agency has taken on 14 former Cook staff in total.

Ebbw Vale will be run entirely by ex-Thomas Cook agents, while two former Cook employees have been recruited to work in Cwmbran.

MoreTailor Made Travel abandons move to re-open ex-Thomas Cook outlets [Oct 19]

Tailor Made Travel buys Regal Travel [May 18]

Chief executive Simon Morgan stressed the importance of keeping agents in the same towns as their previous Thomas Cook stores.

“It’s very simple: people buy [from] people,” he said.

“If you take someone who has a trading history of 20 years in a town and move them to a different town, you have wasted that resource.

“It’s my job to put them back in the towns they belong. You can’t take a local butcher and slap them 20 miles away.”

Morgan had previously registered interest in picking up ex-Cook retail locations after its collapse in September, but all shop leases were taken on by Hays Travel.

“Hays hasn’t opened all the Cook stores, and are using staff in other towns,” he said. “That’s leaving gaps in the market for us and we’re taking opportunities as they arise.”

The Travel Network Group member has increased sales across
its retail network from £1.2 million in 2016 to more than £30 million in 2019. Morgan said the agency was targeting £35 million in sales for 2020 and £50 million in 2021.

He outlined plans for “two or three” new shops through “organic growth”, and added: “As opportunity knocks, there could be a further two or three, and that’s not accounting for acquisition opportunities.”

MoreTailor Made Travel abandons move to re-open ex-Thomas Cook outlets [Oct 19]

Tailor Made Travel buys Regal Travel [May 18]

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