TUI To Close 166 Stores In UK And Ireland

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Germany based travel company TUI on Thursday said it’ll shut 166 stores in the UK and Ireland in response to the downturn in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in a move which can cause more losses in the battered sector.

COVID-19 has exhausted holidays abroad for Europeans for months, and now the threat of a second wave of infections and new restrictions on travel during the usually lucrative summer season is causing more pain in a sector where balance sheets are already strained.

TUI’s UK unit was forced to cancel thousands of holidays earlier this week when Britain advised against travel to Spain, bringing back a 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals just weeks after saying travel there was safe.

The company said on Thursday the closure of the 166 stores in the UK and Ireland would still leave it with 350 stores in those geographies but made sense when 70% of TUI’s UK bookings were made online.

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The closures would affect 900 employees but the company would attempt to move 70% of these staff into new homeworking sales and service jobs, meaning about 270 jobs were in danger.

Germany-headquartered TUI said in May it needed to cut 8,000 jobs and shed 30% of its costs to organize for a tourism market which might be smaller for a few years.

(Source: Reuters)


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