Flight Centre is to expand its network of larger ‘flagship’ stores in prime locations across the UK and introduce a cruise brand to the British market.
The company, which has 91 stores in the UK, plans to bring its Cruise About brand to this country within the next 12 months having successfully launched standalone stores in South Africa.
UK managing director Chris Galanty said: “We would introduce it to the UK by having an implant in flagship stores rather than having standalone shops.
“Globally we sell a lot of cruise, but in the UK it’s not a market we’ve been in. Our customers want to buy a cruise from us. Within the next 12 months we will have a strong cruise offering.”
Galanty said Flight Centre’s 12 flagship shops, including those in Oxford Street, London, and Deansgate, Manchester, had been “enormously successful” and the company aimed to open more.
“Some customers transact online with some of our brands; some deal over the phone, via email or live chat; and some do all of them in one transaction,” he added.
“If I was starting now would I go and build 100 shops? I’m not sure I could afford to, but the shops are certainly a major asset.”
Flight Centre is also to increase focus on two of its specialist brands, My Adventure Store and Round the World Experts, by adding implants into flagship stores.
“We have a My Adventure Store within Flight Centre in Manchester Deansgate with its own two desks, branding and window display, and it’s become our top-selling shop for touring holidays,” said Galanty.