TUI UK is to rebrand its out-of-town First Choice Holiday Hypermarkets and give staff the chance to become specialists in cruise or family holidays.


The 40 First Choice Holiday Hypermarkets will be rebranded to either Thomson or First Choice Holiday Superstores between now and April 2010. Some of the stores will also have a complete refit with the addition of a welcome desk, floor-to-ceiling holiday imagery and dedicated family and cruise areas.


The Superstores will also display the operator’s other brands on their exterior in an effort to showcase the company’s portfolio.


TUI UK retail director Kathryn Ward said: “The First Choice Holiday Hypermarkets have been very successful but we have decided to give them a facelift and re-energise them. Since the First Choice and Thomson merger, there is scope to use more brands. We want to shout about our choice of brands.”


Offering specialist knowledge will be a key part of the new offering, said Ward. Agents who have been working in a Superstore for more than six months will have the opportunity to become specialists in areas such as cruise, foreign exchange or family holidays.


She said: “We want staff to have a solid career programme and we are encouraging them to specialise in two areas. We are also building up the management team to include a superstore manager and two deputies, one to focus on training and one for events.”


Most vacancies will be offered internally or will come from the high-street stores, said Ward.


“We are trying to position the superstores as flagships to our customers and to the internal retail estate. We would encourage retail staff to look at opportunities in the Superstores.”


The First Choice Holiday Hypermarket in Coventry will be the first to be rebranded and have a full refit. It is expected to reopen in December.