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Midcounties Co-operative Travel is to open an interactive Florida-themed area in its Walsall store ahead of a planned roll out of the concept to as many as 30 of its other high-street shops next year.
The move follows the establishing of a joint venture Midcounties in 2013 with industry veteran John Donnelly’s JDA Group, initially to offer Florida holiday homes.
FloridianHomes, which trades as Co-operative Florida Holidays, now offers full packages to Florida, including flights, car hire and stays in hotels and in the theme parks as well as villas and holiday homes.
The Walsall shop will boast a 300 square foot area, separated from the main part of the store by a white picket fence.
It will have iPads linking up with wall screens to show live webcams of events and locations in the sunshine state and interactive maps of resorts and places of interest.
The dedicated area is planned to go live before Christmas.
A second Florida-themed area has already been created in Midcounties’ Gloucester store although the technology is unlikely to go live until after Christmas.
Alistair Rowland, travel services general manager at Midcounties Co-operative, said: “We will create an unusual, interactive experience for customers choosing Florida whether it’s Orlando or the Gulf Coast.”
Donnelly, who created the first Holiday Hypermarket concept with Midcounties chief executive Ben Reid, added that the move would bring some “theatre” to the high-street travel agency.
He said it would also help it stand out as a shop with specialist Florida knowledge. “Walsall is the first and it’s great to be working with Ben and Midcounties on this. I am confident this will work,” he said.
Co-operative Florida Holidays recently produced its first consumer brochure.
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