Barrhead Travel to offer franchises across UK

Barrhead Travel is seeking to expand outside Scotland by offering franchise agreements across the UK.

The Scottish miniple wants to work with existing travel agents who would like to open their own agency. It is also willing to offer equity to help agents establish their own franchise.

Chief executive Sharon Munro said: “There are some productive travel people out there who would love to run their own agency – the only thing holding them back is the money needed to invest.

“That’s why we’ve decided to make our franchise agreements as flexible as possible. We’re open to any proposals that will help potential Barrhead Travel franchisees realise their dream.”

Barrhead Travel has been testing the franchise model in its Falkirk and Saltcoats branches in Scotland, and is now looking to expand.

Director Mark Brock said the aim was to make the company’s brand as well known in the rest of the UK as it is in Scotland.

He said: “We believe that to maintain our lean structure with minimum overheads, franchising suits that model. Owner-managers are usually more productive and require less management time from the centre.

“The key is to get the best and to allow them to run their businesses, and if necessary we will provide financial support.”

Following the opening of stores in Aberdeen, Falkirk and Livingston this year, Barrhead Travel now has 15 outlets. It also plans to open a 16th shop in the Fort Shopping Centre in Glasgow in February 2010.

Earlier this year, the company launched a financial services division selling loans and life insurance to help customers beat the recession.

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