ILKESTONE Co-op Travel is the latest to buck the trend
of doom and gloom by opening new shops.

It follows Co-op Travel’s announcement it will be
opening four new agencies in the Midlands.

The moves will be seen as good news at a time of
widespread redundancies as a result of the US crisis and market uncertainty.

Ilkestone Co-op Travel has opened two new travel
centres in Sutton, Nottingham, and in Chapeltown, South Yorkshire, creating 12
new jobs and bringing the total of centres to 39. Both include a foreign
exchange bureau.       

The openings had been planned prior to the September
11 attacks as part of a longer term expansion strategy.

A spokeswoman said: “At the end of the day a lot
of time and money had gone into it, a date had been set and we decided to go
ahead with it.”

Co-Op Travel will create 44 new jobs at its new shops
in Kidderminster, Bliston and Walsall.

Parent company West Midlands Co-operative Society
chief executive Ben Reid said: “We have survived many periods of world
strife. This is about building for the long term. Travel is only one of our
divisions. If we were just a travel business then may be we would have a
different set of criteria.”