Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Travel Network Group buys fifth store

The Travel Network Group has acquired Pudsey-based Hanson Travel for an undisclosed sum.

Hanson Travel, a Worldchoice member, was established in 1986 by husband and wife team Paul and Denise Hanson, who are retiring.

Travel Network Group CEO Gary Lewis said: "We are delighted to be taking over this well-managed and successful independent travel business as it complements the profile of our other wholly-owned stores network.

"Whilst this acquisition only takes our wholly-owned network to five stores, it is a strategic purchase. We know that from time to time our members re-evaluate their careers and consider their options on the direction they take with their businesses, and last year we made a commitment to Worldchoice members that if they were looking to exit through sale or retirement to contact us with a view to us acquiring, and this is the first purchase of this kind to be made."

Lisa Henning, group membership services director, who is responsible for leading the Group's Retail activities added: "Over the last 18 months we have run a programme of changing behaviours in our stores which is achieving great results. Our owned-stores are also a great test-ground for trialing new initiatives and activities and if successful, rolling them out across our membership by sharing best practice. The team at Hanson Travel are highly entrepreneurial and will make a great addition to the Group."

Kathryn Beaumont, who joined Hanson Travel when it launched, will continue to manage the business under the new structure.

Paul Hanson, added: "After a 50-year career as a retail travel agent I've seen many changes. The rise of the internet, two recessions, two Gulf wars and not to mention the demise of Clarksons and Intersun. Yet the high street travel agent continues to prosper. I'm pleased the future of Hanson Travel is now secure in the capable hands of manager Kathryn Beaumont, who has been with us since the beginning 30 years ago, and now with the backing of the Worldchoice management team."

Lewis added that the Group would not be seeking to make wide-spread acquisitions but that if members businesses were profitable with potential for good growth then they would be considered.

He added: "This isn't about building a large network of owned stores, it's about the evolving service and support we offer our Members. We are currently talking to members who are looking to transition from running a high street retail travel business to becoming a homeworker, and others who want to move from being a homeworker to a member of our managed services proposition. Increasingly we have more and more members talking to us about their plans for the future and how we can help them."

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