The UK managing director of Thomas Cook said he wants the company’s retail estate to “directionally sell more”.
Salman Syed, who has been at the helm for eight months, said: “I want our retail estate to use our investment in hotels and products more.”
He added: “I see our retail network as a channel for growth. Perhaps it’s been regarded in the past as a cost, but I’m excited by it and we will be making investments in it.”
Speaking to delegates at the ITT Conference in the United Arab Emirates, Syed pointed out Thomas Cook had invested in a new retail leadership team, and he pledged to double the resources in operations and central functions for the group’s retail estate.
He said there were also “opportunities to invest in terms of standards”.
“Our stores are very much part of the customer experience so we need to give an experience in store that the customer of the 21st century would expect.”
Syed also said he wants third-party agents to make more money by selling more of the group’s concept hotels, differentiated product and ancillaries.
“We need to share the rewards with them,” he said.
Referring to the recent Cook web‑chat problems experienced by third‑party agents, as reported by Travel Weekly (May 28), he said: “We need to create great partnerships and we need to merchandise our offers a lot quicker.
“I created a merchandising team four months ago and will be continuing to invest in that team.”
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