Thomas Cook has opened its first Discovery store in Scotland creating 12 new jobs.
Located in Glasgow’s Silverburn Shopping Centre, it is the company’s fourth Discovery store. The other three are in Westfield Stratford City, London, the first under the new Discovery brand which opened in November last year, and in Chelmsford and Belfast.
Thomas Cook aims to open 25 Discovery stores by 2018.
The Discovery stores were previously known as concept stores and operate in shopping centres. They offer free Wi-Fi, online appointment booking systems, video and virtual reality technology.
They follow the decision by Thomas Cook last October to split its shop network into two categories – Discovery and Neighbourhood stores – following a review of all its shops across the UK.
The stores are designed to reflect how consumers research and book holidays by bringing to life aspects of a trip through virtual reality technology and videos. They are more open-plan in terms of design to allow customers to research holidays and find out about some of the services they will experience in the destination, such as the kids’ clubs with Thomas Cook mascots Lollo and Bernie.
Kathryn Darbandi, director of retail and customer experience for Thomas Cook UK, said: “The opening of our first Discovery store in Scotland is a really exciting step towards ensuring all of our stores across the country are best equipped to meet the changing needs of our customers today.
“With more than two thirds of customers who research online coming into store, we know our team of knowledgeable travel experts play an important role when helping customers choose the right holiday, and that face-to-face contact is extremely valuable.
“We hope that our newly designed Discovery store will inspire and engage customers in the Glasgow area, as well as cater to individual researching and booking preferences.”
The store was officially opened on April 20 by UK managing director Chris Mottershead, Darbandi, and store manager Fraser Hopkins, who will have been at the company for 25 years next year.