Melia Pro

Published on Thursday, September 28, 2017

Big retail shake-up for Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook is shaking up its retail network, getting rid of cluster manager positions in six regions.

Instead, it will create 89 store manager roles in all stores in Bristol and Exeter, Cardiff Central, Northern Ireland, Stansted and Norwich and both Scottish regions.

It said this would reduce travelling time for cluster managers in these regions, where the number of stores has been reduced and the network has become more dispersed.

The introduction of cluster managers was part of a shake-up of the retail network in 2013 and was criticsed, at the time, as being a cost cutting move.

These cluster managers are now being invited to apply for store manager jobs, but Thomas Cook insisted this would not be a demotion.

"This is an investment programme with career development opportunities, and we see huge benefit allowing our managers to concentrate on one store and grow that business," said a spokeswoman.

"We hope to retain as many colleagues as possible."

As part of the changes announced today, assistant manager roles in smaller stores across these six regions will be replaced with an entry level store manager role.

Thomas Cook said the new store manager roles were also open to assistant mangers and customers service managers who are looking for an opportunity to further develop their careers.

Discussions are already underway with staff impacted by the move.

Thomas Cook UK director of retail and customer experience Kathryn Darbandi said: "Our retail management team plays a critical role in the success of our stores across the UK and Northern Ireland. These new roles present an exciting opportunity for both existing and aspiring managers and would empower them to better meet the changing demands of our customers."

Meanwhile, Thomas Cook is also making changes to its cruise homeworking operation by moving the roles of its 24 cruise homeworkers into its Peterborough Contact Centre.

Homeworkers impacted by this proposal are being offered roles in the Peterborough or Falkirk Contact Centres, or the opportunity to continue working from home as a Co-operative Travel Personal Advisor.

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