Midcounties Co-op buys Kwik Travel

Midcounties Co-op buys Kwik Travel

Midcounties Co-operative Travel has bought homeworking business Kwik Travel from Preston Travel Group for an undisclosed sum.

Kwik Travel has 50 homeworkers and is based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. It has a turnover of around £25 million.

Staff were being told about the acquisition today, which increases the number of homeworkers at Midcounties Co-op from 10 to 60. The Kwik Travel head office will remain in the Tamworth premises, which is being leased by Midcounties Co-op.

The move forms part of major expansion plans by Midcounties Co-op. Group general manager of travel services Alistair Rowland said: “This is a key early acquisition for Co-op Travel as we pursue our strategy of rapid growth as a major independent travel company backed by Co-operative values. This will give us a real lead in our homeworking start-up business and is a good fit geographically.”

Kwik Travel is one of the largest members of the Freedom Travel Group, now part of the The Co-operative Travel/Thomas Cook joint venture, and was previously under Rowland’s remit when he worked at The Co-operative Travel.

It will operate independently but come under Midcounties Co-op’s new homeworking division Personal Travel Agents, headed up by Sheena Darby, who used to run The Co-operative Travel’s homeworking division Personal Travel Advisors.

Kwik Travel managing director Claire Willoughby will continue to run the business, which operates on a 30% model in which homeworkers earn 30% of the commission they make on bookings and are fed leads for sales.

Rowland added: “It’s one of the best homeworking businesses in the UK and one of the best-run, hence why we are going to operate it independently.”

Midcounties is honouring the group’s Freedom Travel Group contracts until the end of the year, when members will move across to its group.

Kwik Travel is one of Teletext Holidays’ ‘elite’ travel partners after the company slashed the number of advertisers using its www.teletextholidays.co.uk service from 50 to 15 in November last year.

The Preston Travel Group said it had sold Kwik, which it has owned since 2006, as part of a strategy to focus on its core tour operating brands of Longwood Holidays, Preston Holidays and Amathus Holidays.

Group managing director Kevin Duckworth said: “We are delighted that after several very successful years that Kwik Travel has now the opportunity to move on to even greater success having been acquired by a very strong organisation.”

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