Barrhead Travel has earmarked 12 high streets in England as “first choice locations” for stores and confirmed its second shop in England would be in Leicester.
The outlet will open before Easter and stretches Barrhead’s presence south of the border, following the opening of a city-centre shop in Newcastle last year.
Chairman Bill Munro said the decision to opt for Leicester followed recommendations from operator partners, including Sandals.
“All the information we have on Leicester might suggest it would not be a good fit because there is not much of a market for things like cruise,” he said.
“But to me that’s a great opportunity because no one else is pushing certain products. It tends to be more bucket and spade.”
Munro said Barrhead was in discussions with contacts in 12 towns in England and would consider opportunities as premises become available.
Barrhead has also identified two areas in Scotland in which it would like to open stores.
Munro said expansion did not depend on Barrhead securing new funding, which it announced it was seeking in May, to accelerate growth.
He said the firm had “quite a few offers on the table” but said the process was started before the UK’s Brexit vote, which had prompted Barrhead to “take stock”.
Munro said the firm was “cash rich” so needed someone to help it grow, not burden it with debt. “We have never had debt in the business, why would we bother now?” he asked.
Munro was also prepared to consider acquisitions in the UK as well as overseas, added Barrhead.
“On the trade side, people are talking to us all the time about synergies. On the investment side, there are many people who can bring an awful lot to the business.”
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