Barrhead Travel is to open seven new stores which will be staffed by former Thomas Cook employees.

New branches will open in Liverpool, Widnes, Wallasey, Burnley, Isle of Wight, Northwich and Warrington ahead of the peak trading season in January.

Barrhead confirmed that in all the locations there was formerly a Thomas Cook store which is now part of Hays Travel and the teams  have made the decision to join Barrhead.

The former Cook staff are currently undergoing training at Barrhead Travel’s Training Academy in Glasgow.


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The exact locations of the new stores are yet to be revealed, but Barrhead said the branches will be opened in new premises and the design will reflect Barrhead Travel’s “signature conceptual style”.

The news comes after the travel group said it would look to expand its retail network across the UK with 100 new shops.

Barrhead recruited former Thomas Cook senior managers Chris Mottershead, Kathryn Darbandi and Nicki Tempest-Mitchell earlier this month to lead its shop expansion.

Jaqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel said: “The natural first step was to find the right teams – after that, the exact store location would fall into place. For each of our locations, we made the decision to find the people before the premises – we’ve found that the managers and their teams have been integral in the decision-making process when it comes to specific locations.

“There are still a number of details yet to be finalised before we can confirm the exact details of the new branches, but we’ve found some brilliant high street locations which will translate into successful travel agencies.

“The new teams are currently in the midst of intensive training, familiarising themselves with our Barrhead Travel brand and systems. The team have spent significant time with our training team at the Barrhead Travel Training Academy in Glasgow with tailored training plans in place for everyone.

“Each manager and their team boast years of travel experience between them and are well-integrated into their local communities. The areas where we are launching are new to the Barrhead Travel brand so we’re also working closely with the teams and local businesses to introduce ourselves to the locality and align our values and offering with local initiatives.”

Barrhead Travel’s expansion is backed by parent company, Travel Leaders Group, which acquired the Scottish-based company last year. The first phase of new store openings is estimated to be completed by December.