Hays Travel plans to open between 30 and 40 shops in West Yorkshire as it marches ?on with its expansion beyond the northeast.
In addition to the six new stores confirmed for the Leeds and Bradford areas announced earlier this month, managing director John Hays said the retailer was keen to expand along the M62 corridor.
A shop in Leeds Crossgate Shopping Centre opened last week, with another planned for Bradford city centre. A lease is also being agreed for a store in Wakefield.
Hays would not confirm the exact locations or opening dates for these or the remaining three locations due to lease agreements still being finalised.
On expanding further into Yorkshire, Hays said he was targeting up to 40 shops in that area to have an impact. These could be a mix of existing travel stores and new ones on greenfield sites.
Hays, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, currently operates more than 100 branches, predominantly in the northeast. It acquired Bath Travel’s 60 shops in the south in 2013.
Asked whether Hays was seeking “national domination”, he said: “There are no specific plans. If the right opportunities come up then we may buy more. We have saturated the northeast.
“We’re opening six shops in the Leeds Bradford area and are looking to have between 30 to 40 shops in that catchment area.
“We’re looking all the time but there is a big gap between the north and south so I don’t see national domination.”
Hays said that by the end of the year, it will have opened up to 12 stores in the last quarter of 2015.
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