The Minoan Group has revealed plans to rebrand all its high street stores as Stewart Travel as it opens its latest store in Ayr.

The group currently owns King Travel, Semple Travel and Classic Travel as separate entities after a series of acquisitions. The rebranding begins today with the launch of a new branch in Ayr.

Minoan currently has two stores in the town – a Stewart Travel operation and a King Travel outlet which operate effectively in competition to each other.

The two existing town centre premises are closing to be replaced by a single branch at 231 High Street, operating as Stewart Travel. All eight staff from both companies will transfer to the new branch.

King World Travel’s other branches will also be rebranded under the Stewart banner in coming months.

Minoan, which now employs around 200 people in Scotland, also plans to expand the business with more stores in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen while still pursuing further acquisitions.

Minoan chief executive Duncan Wilson said: “Recent focus group discussions have reinforced our belief that the name Stewart Travel, with its 40 years of history, has the widest current recognition and the brand values associated with it are those closest to those which we wish to become our hallmark.

“We will close both the existing King World Store and the existing Stewart store and open our first newly branded Stewart Travel store in an attempt to bring together the best of both brands.

“The new store is fresh, airy and spacious and is in a perfect location for local customers in the heart of the town centre.”

Stewart Travel founder Willie Stewart said: “I am delighted to open the new store which will continue to offer the best service and range of holiday products. Both companies have built up excellent reputations and have and incredibly loyal customers who return year after year.

“We will continue to provide the highly knowledgeable and friendly service which they have come to expect and we look forward to welcoming both old and new customers alike to these marvellous new premises in the heart of the  town centre.”