Tour operator Kuoni is to open up to six more high-street shops selling just its own product but denies it has any plans to move away from selling through travel agents.
The operator already has three stores in London in Knightsbridge, High Street Kensington and Bishopsgate and one shop in Manchester.
Managing director Nick Hughes said the operator was targeting between six and ten high-street shops in total. It plans to open a second store in Manchester in November.
The flagship store in High Street Kensington, opened earlier this year, has already more than doubled its sales targets and the shops were making the brand more “accessible”, according to Hughes.
“We want the brand to be accessible through the right channels. If customers want to talk to agents they can, but if they want to see our staff face-to-face they can. If the shops continue to demonstrate results then we will look to extend them further and have between half a dozen and ten stores in selected locations,” he said.
However, more than 60% of sales remain through the trade and there are no plans to move the brand further direct. Commercial director Joanna Edmunds said: “It’s not about planning to go direct but the stores create a tangible experience of the brand.”
The operator also plans to recruit a further ten to 15 homeworkers. It recently recruited six homeworkers for the first time and in their first month two of these sales consultants became top-sellers for the operator.
“On that basis we are already recruiting another ten to 15 homeworkers to put in the marketplace before the end of the year to uplift the experience for people that call us,” said Hughes.
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