Jobs at risk at Harrogate Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook is proposing to shut 195 stores nationwide
Thomas Cook is proposing to shut 195 stores nationwide

Eight jobs at a Harrogate branch of holiday group Thomas Cook are at risk as the troubled chain moves to shut 195 outlets nationwide.

Staff at the branch, based at Sainsbury’s supermarket on Wetherby Road, have entered a 90-day consultation process with Thomas Cook as the chain looks to balance its books.

The consultation is considering plans to shut the 195 stores and place a number of managerial and administrive roles at risk.

Joanna Wild, Managing Director of the Thomas Cook Co-operative retail network, said: “As a large retailer we regularly review our network to make sure we have the right stores in the right places for our customers and regrettably there are occasions where we need to close certain branches.

“Following careful consideration, we have announced that Thomas Cook Harrogate Sainsbury’s store is proposed to close and we are working with those colleagues who are affected.

“We’d like to thank both our colleagues and customers for the commitment and understanding during this process.”

Stores on Cambridge Road, James Street, and in Knaresborough and Ripon are unaffected.

Thomas Cook is the second largest high street travel retailer in the UK, at present employing 15,500 people in its 1,069 stores nationwide.

It is expected that 2,500 full-time roles will be lost if the proposed changes go ahead.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland’s CEO, said: “It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people, but we also owe it to our customers to shape the business effectively and ensure that, when they book their holiday with us, our administrative costs are as low as possible.

“It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company, allowing us to meet the future needs of our customers more effectively.

“These proposals will mean a stronger Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK dedicated to providing excellent holiday experiences to our 23 million customers.

“We are in consultation with our Unions and employee representative bodies to minimise the impact of these changes and I am speaking personally to all employees today to provide information and support through this period of consultation.”