Kuoni is to open its first standalone shop in Scotland and will “nudge 50” stores nationwide by the end of the year.

The Glasgow branch will open on March 16 in Gordon Street and employ five staff. The company already has a concession in John Lewis in Aberdeen.

Kuoni recently opened a store in the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Essex. A store in Harrogate will open on March 14.

This will bring the number of Kuoni shops to 40, including 12 concessions in John Lewis.

Last March the operator shut its Knightsbridge shop, which opened in 2000 and was one of the first Kuoni stores. The company said the shop shut because it pre-dated Kuoni’s current retail strategy for high-footfall premium shopping centres or high street locations.

Managing director Derek Jones said Kuoni would “continue to review new opportunities for stores in 2016”, with additional outlets likely to bring the total “closer to 50” by the end of the year.

But he stressed this would be close to an “optimum number” of own-branded shops for the operator, adding: “We’ve established a really strong retail network in a relatively short space of time. The stores act as a virtual call centre as well as dealing with web chats, appointments and walk-in customers.”

The company also has 11 agent partners, with The Co-operative in Gloucester the most recent to join.

Jones said: “Our partner agents are a fantastic asset to us and we will continue to support them.”

No replacement has been announced for head of trade sales Amanda Darrington, who led the partnerships. She will leave the company on March 11 to join Funway Holidays.