Posted: 20.08.20 at 17:52 by Nick Hudson
A TRAVEL agency in Atherstone has opened its doors to the public for the first time since lockdown was implemented in March.
And returning employees at the Co-op travel store in Station Street are now “under new management”.
For the staff are being transferred to another part of the retail giant’s business empire.
Last month, Midcounties Co-operative announced that it was entering into an agreement with Central England Co-operative- to transfer 16 of its travel branches to Co-operative Travel.
The agreement has been finalised and includes the travel agency inside Atherstone’s Co-operative Food.
The company insists customers will not see immediate changes to the exterior of the store front, nor to the interior signage or staff uniforms, but, over time, the branch will be refreshed to reflect the Co-op Travel branding.
Natalie Turner, head of branches for Co-operative Travel, said: “I am delighted that Midcounties’ Co-operative Travel now has a presence in Atherstone.
“Our new colleagues are eager to be an active part of the high street and their communities once again, offering the wide range of travel experiences and brands that we sell, with holidays at home and abroad to suit every taste and budget.
The transfer is an example of the wider co-operative movement working together to reduce costs, while continuing to offer co-operative solutions to members’ travel needs.
Across several counties, 78 former Central England Co-operative colleagues will join Co-operative Travel – with the move bringing Midcounties’ portfolio of Co-operative Travel shops to more than 70.
The town’s Co-op travel agency had been closed since virus restrictions were implemented on March 23.
It will now be open six days a week, from 9am to 5.30pm.
To help support social distancing, the branch is offering an appointment system, limited to two customers per appointment and bookable via www.cooptravel.co.uk/request-an-appointment.
When the branch confirms the appointment, the customer will receive a £75 voucher to put towards their next holiday booking*.
Customers are also welcome to go to the branch without an appointment, but are advised they may have to wait if the branch is busy, to ensure the two-metre social distance guidelines can be safely met.
In addition to Atherstone, the other 15 branches transferring to Midcounties Co-operative are Allenton (Derbyshire), Beccles & Lowestoft (Suffolk), Castle Donington, Erdington (West Midlands), Glenfield, Ibstock and Whetstone (Leicestershire), Diss, Kings Lynn and Thetford (Norfolk), Market Deeping (Lincolnshire), Oakham (Rutland), March and Peterborough (Cambridgeshire).
In 2018, Central England Co-operative agreed the transfer of six branches of Thomas Cook to join its retail network.
Branches based in Central England Co-op food stores, including Atherstone, moved over to Central England Co-operative.
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