Deathwatch: Ailing Thomas Cook cut jobs and shops
There’s been carnage in the travel industry today, with Thomas Cook announcing the loss of 2,500 UK jobs and the closure of almost 200 stores, action taken in an attempt to revive its profitability.
Thomas Cook has said that most of the job losses will come from its ‘back-office functions and its retail network’ and come on the back of recent pre-tax losses of £485.3m, the kind of figures that would make you yearn for a break in the sun. They have begun a 90-day consultation process with employees regarding redundancies.
The plans announced today mean that 195 of 1,069 current Thomas Cook stores will close, with about 16% of the workforce heading for permanent holiday leave.
Things started to go seriously awry for the travel company in 2011 when the Arab Spring led to a sharp fall in bookings for holidays in the Middle East and North Africa.
But does it also mean that more of us are changing the way we plan our trips? Savvier travellers have more options these days and even those of us who always book through a high street travel agent are becoming more inclined to do it online rather than drag our carcasses down to some badly-decorated shop.
As ever, we crave your thoughts.