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Travel House to open 23rd branch at former Tailor Made premises

Independent Welsh agency chain Travel House will open its 23rd store in Blackwood, south Wales, in premises previously occupied by Tailor Made Travel.

Five of the staff who worked at Tailor Made – which entered administration on September 3 – are being taken on for the new Travel House branch.

Hays Travel took over the failed chain on September 4, and members of staff from the Blackwood shop transferred to the town’s Hays branch which is a few doors away on the other side of the road.

Kate Bowen, business development manager at Travel House, said: “When the [former Tailor Made] premises became available we made inquiries and took on the lease.

“We were able to turn it around quickly and it has been kitted out in Travel House branding.”

Elaine Watkins will be the manager with Kath Brown as her assistant manager, and three more former Tailor Made colleagues will join them in the first week of January.

“They have been in travel for years and are well known in the area – it had been a very successful shop, so that is why we wanted it,” said Bowen.

“Blackwood is a thriving town. With Hays and Tailor Made, there was enough business for both companies to do well.”

Watkins and Brown will see clients by appointment from December 21 but there will be no big fanfare about the opening because of Covid restrictions and concerns about another lockdown after Christmas.

Before this latest opening, Travel House had 21 shops in Wales and another over the border in Portishead, Bristol.

The Swansea-headquartered chain employs 110 staff and is owned by local entrepreneur and property owner Martin Morgan.

Bowen added: “Travel House has not had to make any redundancies or close any shops during the pandemic.

“We have always kept funds within the business and Martin Morgan is committed to funding us throughout these difficult times.”

She said most bookings are currently being made for summer 2021 and beyond, especially in the wake of news about a Covid-19 vaccine.

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