Midcounties Co op Travel is to open five new retail outlets and is in talks to buy two further agency chains as it continues its aggressive growth plans.
The independent travel agency group is to open five brand new high street outlets including shops in Derby, Nottingham, Shrewsbury and Leamington Spa by the end of October - with the first one due to open at the end of September.
At the same time the group is in talks to buy two more agency chains in the 'southern half of its patch' by the end of the year, taking its total number of stores to more than 60.
The company is to trial a whole new concept with the five stores which it may roll out across the portfolio but the details of this have yet to be released.
Group general manager Alistair Rowland said: "That will be a separate announcement."
The growth fits in with Midcounties' strategy to strengthen its links with Bristol, East Midlands and Birmingham airports.
Last week it bought eight Travel Angels outlets in the south west, see previous story, serving Bristol airport.
Midcounties is also mindful to spread its risk across all distribution chains increasing stores, web presence, homeworkers and consortium members.
Rowland said: " It means we can cover 'earlys and lates'. If there are disruptions to the early market then we have an option. We also have a mix of self employed and employed."
In March, the agency group bought homeworking business Kwik Travel and in May online agent Blue Bay Travel joined Midcounties' consortium.
By Diane Evans
Thursday, August 16, 2012
From spectacular art and interior design, to outstanding culinary and sustainable innovation, the Conrad New York is Lower Manhattan's newest luxury address.