Kuoni moves to adjust store network as it focuses on being fit for the future
As part of its strategic business review and recent staff consultation, Kuoni has moved to reduce the size of its store network.
Kuoni said the size and scale of the store network has been under review as part of the company’s re-organisation. A temporary, but prolonged reduction in demand for travel triggered by the pandemic, changing shopping behaviour and a growing confidence to use video apps to plan holidays online have all come into play.
The plan is to close a number of Kuoni’s High Street stores where leases are coming to an end, which includes Lakeside, Bromley, Leeds, Windsor, Kingston, Stratford, Canterbury and Glasgow. The lease on the London City store had already been transferred to an alternative retailer earlier this year.
It’s important to stress that a reduced store network was factored into the company’s strategic plans and all staff who were based in the affected stores will remain with the business.
Of Kuoni’s High Street and Shopping Centre stores Guildford re-opened in July, and the company will be phasing the re-opening of its 20 High Street shops over the coming months.
Kuoni has already re-opened within John Lewis in Aberdeen and Peter Jones in London and this will be followed by Norwich opening on 7 October.
On 3 November, Kuoni will be re-opening its concessions in John Lewis shops in Cardiff, Chelmsford, Reading and Southampton. They will be followed by Leicester, Oxford Street and Cribbs Causeway in the future with an exact date to be confirmed.
The following seven Kuoni concessions in John Lewis shops will not be re-opening: Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Cheadle, White City, Trafford, and Welwyn.
Derek Jones, CEO of Kuoni’s parent company DER Touristik UK, said: “Our immediate plan is that all staff will remain with us working from home in our virtual call centre which is working well. Needless to say though we are still operating in a very uncertain trading environment so we will continue to review our retail strategy with a view to making the Kuoni brand fit for the future and prepared to take every advantage of the opportunity as soon as demand for worldwide travel returns.”
Kuoni Travel UK is part of DER Touristik, one of Europe’s leading travel groups. Kuoni has continued to set the pace in luxury worldwide travel in the UK market for the past 55 years and is regularly voted one of the best holiday companies in the country by readers of national newspapers and travel industry titles. The company excels in creating tailor-made holidays and honeymoons to more than 90 destinations around the world. Since 2008 Kuoni has grown its retail network across the UK and can be found in 48 locations on premium high streets and in selected John Lewis department stores. Each store is unique in design and showcases Kuoni’s Personal Travel Experts and personalised customer service.