Cook confirms 55 Co-op stores among closures

Thomas Cook confirmed its intention to close 115 shops and began consultation with 661 staff threatened with redundancy today.

The shops will shut from mid-April, with redundant staff entitled to four weeks notice following the end of a 90-day consultation.

Most staff learned of the shop closures today, but some will be informed tomorrow.

Thomas Cook said the closures were “all over the UK” and would be split between the Thomas Cook and Co-operative retails chains which merged in October.

The 115 outlets will comprise 38 Thomas Cook-branded shops, 22 Going Places, 47 Co-operative Travel and eight Midlands Co-operative.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “We will look to redeploy as many people as possible. We hope to reduce the number of redundancies significantly.”

She said a previous announcement of 116 potential redundancies among shop staff in September had resulted in 38 job losses. Those redundancies followed a decision to close 24 Thomas Cook outlets. Two shops were subsequently reprieved and 78 staff redeployed.

The spokeswoman confirmed the 22 shop closures in September were among the 200 closures over two years announced this morning - meaning 137 of that total had already been reached.

The other 60 or so closures should follow over the remainder of the two years as leases fall due. She said: “We don’t anticipate a large number of these closing at once.”

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