Barrhead Travel is to open a boutique-style agency as it looks to entice more affluent customers into booking with an agent rather than direct.
Bill Munro (pictured), founder and chairman of the Scottish agency, said the store, on Edinburgh’s Hanover Street, would attract customers currently opting to cut out an agent and book with luxury operators.
It will be the first shop to open under the Barrhead Travel Boutique banner. While Munro admitted it was “an experiment”, he didn’t rule out opening further boutique branches.
“People are looking for a boutique-type shop, providing an extra-special service and that added something,” he said.
“Some affluent customers don’t book with agents. They are booking with the likes of Cox Kings, for example, directly because they don’t think anyone else can handle their query in the same way. We’re setting out to change that. This will be an upmarket small shop and we think it’s perfectly placed in Edinburgh.
“It’s an experiment but we believe it will do very well.
“Those customers who have more money to spend want to be able to go in and spend more time exploring options and having a drink while doing so.”
The shop is set to open before Christmas, as part of Barrhead’s £1 million expansion plan for Edinburgh. A joint-venture store is also set to open on the land-side of Edinburgh airport this year. The two new stores will create 20 jobs.
Further expansion is expected to be revealed next month, including the location of the Scottish agency’s first store in England.
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