TUI to shut 48 more high street stores after 'unprecedented pressure' of coronavirus pandemic

TUI is planning on closing 48 more high street stores in response to the “unprecedented pressure” of the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the company, the UK’s biggest tour operator, said all 273 employees affected by the decision would be offered new roles in other locations.

The announcement comes after Tui announced in July last year that 166 shops closed due to the virus crisis would not reopen.

This was nearly a third of Tui’s stores across the UK. 

The company had not published a list of the latest potential store closures. 

The company statement read: "We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it's in a high street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do.

"It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions and do our best to look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty.

The Covid-19 pandemic had acted to strengthen a change in purchasing habits, the statement said, with more people looking to browse and buy online and over the phone.

They hoped many of the “world class travel advisors” working for Tui would become homeworkers, and continue to offer the personalised service that their customers valued.

The travel industry has been dealt a serious blow over the past year, due to Government restrictions on travel and a collapse in demand during the pandemic.

Tui, an Anglo-German firm, is currently unable to send people from the UK on holiday, due to lockdown restrictions.

The company’s revenues in the three months to the end of 2020 dropped from £3.39 billion to just £410 million – a fall of 88%.

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