These are the Thomas Cook branches to be axed in Lancashire as the travel agent reveals plans to close 21 stores nationwide

Travel giant Thomas Cook will close 21 branches as it plans to "streamline" its operations - and Lancashire will not be spared.

By Matthew Calderbank
Friday, 22nd March 2019, 3:20 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 3:25 pm
Thomas Cook will close its Accrington branch as part of plans to shut 21 stores across the UK.
Thomas Cook will close its Accrington branch as part of plans to shut 21 stores across the UK.

The travel agent confirmed it will close its Accrington branch in the Arndale Centre as part of an nationwide "efficiency programme".

The company said "changing customer behaviour" and "wider challenges on the high street" means resources must be focussed on its online services.

The proposed closures will result in 320 job losses across 21 stores in the UK.

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It pointed to the fact that more holidaymakers are searching for holidays online, with web bookings accounting for 64 per cent of all Thomas Cook bookings in the UK last year.

Closures will result in Thomas Cook's retail estate reducing to 566 shops, with the jobs to be lost including 102 customer-facing roles and a further 218 store-based roles removed as part of the review.

A consultation process with the affected staff and unions has already begun.

Will Waggott, Thomas Cook's chief of tour operating, said: "Today's announcement reflects the wider challenges seen on the high street, with more and more customers choosing to book online.

"These measures will help us to drive greater efficiencies across Thomas Cook so that we relentlessly focus our resources in those areas that give us the greatest opportunity to make a difference to customers in our core holiday offering.

"Looking ahead, we will be working to ensure that Thomas Cook is fit for the future, putting a rigorous focus on costs in a competitive environment while giving customers more reasons to holiday with the strongest brand in travel."

It comes after the travel firm last month said it was exploring options to sell its airline business amid growing concerns over the company's future.

Thomas Cook branches confirmed for closure in Lancashire


Thomas Cook branches to remain open in Lancashire

Preston, Fishergate

Leyland, Hough Lane

Blackpool, Birley Street

St Annes, Burlington Centre

Kirkham, Poulton Street

Blackburn, King William Street