Tui, the travel operator, has announced that it is closing 48 of its UK high street sites, impacting 273 jobs in the process.
The group’s decision follows the proposed shutting of 166 Tui sites, in turn affecting 900 jobs, that was announced in July 2020 as the pandemic continues to shift holiday booking sales to online channels.
Those employees at risk of redundancy will be offered work from home opportunities or the ability to move to one of the group’s 314 remaining retail outlets.
In a statement, Tui said: “The travel industry and the British high street are both facing unprecedented pressure.
“We can therefore confirm that we are proposing to close 48 retail stores. All colleagues at risk of redundancy will be offered roles in other stores where there are vacancies, or in the new homeworking retail and contact centre team.”
While the exact locations of the closures have not been revealed, their nature represents a switch in consumer behaviour, with people now “wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home”.
Tui added: “We have world class travel advisors at Tui, so we hope many of them will become homeworkers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”
The group expects to operate at 80% of its usual capacity this summer, recovering from the 87.8% year-on-year decline to income it suffered over the three months to the end of 2020.