Welsh miniple Tailor Made Travel is rebranding one of its branches as it trials a “no-frills” concept store on the high street.
The Pontypridd agency has been rebranded Discount Holiday Store by Tailor Made Travel, with an orange fascia designed to promote “great-value holiday deals”.
In a shift away from a traditional travel agency, owner Simon Morgan wantes to create “a cross between an Apple store and a mobile phone shop”.
He has challenged staff to design the shop’s interior and will create “workstations” instead of traditional desks.
“There are no rules,” he said. “It might be sofas and laptops or a high bar with interactive touchscreens.
“We don’t want clients to feel they are sitting in front of their bank manager. It’s key to sit side by side, but no one [in the trade] has quite mastered it yet.”
Digital screens will show offers and the agency is considering free in-store vending machines.
If successful, other branches of Tailor Made Travel or Regal Travel, acquired in May, could switch to the new brand in “suitable” locations.
“We are reinventing the high street to be very different where the market is more cut-throat,” he said. “This store was not doing particularly well for Tailor Made Travel and I want to turn it into the ‘Apple-meets-mobile-phone-store’ of the travel industry.”
Staff will use MacBooks and be paid on a new margin-based system to create a high-sales environment. There are five staff, all from within the group.
Morgan said market research and customer surveys showed high demand in Pontypridd for mainstream holidays as he takes on Tui and Thomas Cook with the “aggressive” strategy.
The miniple, which owns 14 agencies, usually sells luxury, tailor-made holidays and cruises.
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