Tui plans to shut 48 of its 362 branches due to the “unprecedented pressure” on the high street as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The store locations have not been disclosed but the company said all 273 staff affected by the closures will be offered roles at other stores where there are vacancies, or in the company’s new homeworking retail and contact centre team.
There are currently 290 new full-time and part-time roles available, the company said.
The closures are in addition to the 166 Tui shops that were shut last year, which affected 900 retail roles, of which half moved to new homeworking positions.
Currently, Tui has 1,400 retail staff working in retail, of which 800 are behind closed doors in its shops and 600 are working from home. In total, 1,700 remain on furlough.
In a statement, the company said: “The travel industry and the British high street are both facing unprecedented pressure.
“We can therefore confirm that we are proposing to close 48 retail stores. All colleagues at risk of redundancy will be offered roles in other stores where there are vacancies, or in the new homeworking retail and contact centre team.
“We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do. It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions and do our best to look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty.
“We believe Covid-19 has only strengthened a change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home. ”
The company said it hoped many of its shop staff would take up the opportunity to become homeworkers within the group “and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value”.
Last week Tui UK boss Andrew Flintham told Travel Weekly’s Future of Travel Spring Forum that the company had brought back 800 staff to its shops due to higher than expected demand.