Award-Winning Travel Agency Joins Midcounties Co-operative
Seven branches and all employees transfer to Co-operative Travel
Published 5 Oct 2020
Midcounties Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent consumer co-operatives, has finalised an agreement with award-winning, independent travel agency, Carrick Travel to transfer seven of its branches to the society’s retail travel division, The Co-operative Travel.
The agreement will see the seven Carrick Travel branches and all colleagues employed there join Co-operative Travel from 2 October 2020. The move takes the Society’s portfolio of Co-operative Travel shops across England to 78.
These branches remain open to customers and will complement Co-operative Travel’s existing trading areas whilst remaining to trade under the Carrick Travel brand as part of the Co-operative Travel family.
Eight-time winner of Travel Weekly’s “Agent Achievement Award for Central England - Small Agency”, Carrick Travel’s shops supported 10,000 customers with their travel arrangements over the last 12 months.
Rad Sofronijevic, Chief Operating Officer of Co-operative Travel, said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Travel remains core to Midcounties’ long-term strategy. The transfer of Carrick Travel gives us the opportunity to grow the Co-operative Travel operations for the benefit of our members, with shops that are located in the heart of their communities and to serve an additional customer base that complements our own. We look forward to nurturing and supporting the former Carrick Travel branches and their staff. Their welcome addition will strengthen the position of Midcounties Co-operative’s Travel division for the future.”
Phil Ponsonby, Group Chief Executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “In our travel business and across our Society we are investing in new technologies and digital innovations to broaden our approach and provide our customers and 700,000 members with new ways of accessing our services. Yet we know that many people also enjoy the wealth of knowledge and assurance gained by visiting a travel agent in branch. That’s why we are continuing to invest in our branch network, and the transfer of the former Carrick Travel branches will mean that we have added 23 new branches this year. We are also developing exciting plans for new formats which will truly showcase the quality of Co-operative Travel and its unique approach to meeting our members’ needs from 2021 and beyond.”
Tina Nason and Tracey Carter, owners of Carrick Travel, who will not be joining those staff transferring to Co-operative Travel, as part of the agreement, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Carrick Travel. However, we are incredibly happy that the journeys of our valued customers and many of our talented colleagues will continue under Co-operative Travel. The protection of our staff and clients has always been our highest priority. By agreeing a transfer with The Midcounties Co-operative, particularly with the security that being part of a diverse business provides during these tough times in travel, we are ensuring the protection of our clients and as many of our colleagues’ jobs as possible.
“We have operated Carrick Travel very much as a family business with our stores playing an important role in the communities they serve. Co-operative Travel’s community-focused mindset and principles of care and compassion match our own ethos and we know that our team members and clients will be passed into very safe hands.”
The seven branches transferring to Co-operative Travel are in Kenilworth (Warwickshire), Stratford Upon Avon (Warwickshire), Leamington Spa (Warwickshire), Cheylesmore (West Midlands), Pershore (Worcestershire), Grantham (Lincolnshire) and Newark (Nottinghamshire). The four Carrick Travel branches that are not included in the transfer agreement closed their doors at the end of September 2020.
For more information on Co-operative Travel, go to www.cooptravel.co.uk.