TUI UK’S
retail travel agents are being given the power to tailor sales messages to
their local markets so they can react as fast as rival independents on the high
street.

New retail
sales and operations director Miles Morgan said the move was designed to
empower staff so they feel valued within the organisation, and improve shop
performance.

He admitted TUI’s agencies were at a disadvantage to
independents who could react more quickly to capitalise on new offers or
products, such as an extra route from a local airport, because they did not
have to get head office approval first.

Staff in
Lunn Poly, Travel House and Callers Pegasus will be asked to use their local
knowledge of the market to pull in extra sales by putting suitable deals in
shop

windows,
without changing the company’s core messages.

“If we can
combine a well-oiled machine at a national level with a business that can react
as fast as independent agents at a local level, we’ll have a powerful
combination,” he said.

Shops have
already been divided into customer types of ‘cities’, ‘sun fun’ and ‘well off,
well travelled’, focusing the product in the shops for the type of customers in
the area.

Meanwhile,
Lunn Poly managers are being encouraged to come up with business plans
demonstrating why their shops deserve a face-lift as part of plans to
accelerate the refit programme.

Half of
the retailer’s 800 shops have already been revamped, and Morgan wants the new
look rolled out across the estate by 2007.