The joint venture (JV) between Thomas Cook retail and the Co-operative Group and Midlands Co-operative Society’s travel businesses has today confirmed plans to close 115 high street stores, putting up to 661 jobs at risk.

The proposals follow the completion of the joint venture’s review of its UK store network that commenced immediately after it formally started operations in October. Usdaw have been told that the stores earmarked for closure have been selected on the basis of lease expiry dates, financial performance, proximity to other stores and the profile of their customer catchment area.

The proposals are subject to a statutory 90 day consultation period and no closures or redundancies are expected before 17 March next year.

Sharon Ainsworth, Usdaw National Officer said:

“We’ve always known that the creation of the JV was likely to lead to some rationalisation and job losses but have reluctantly accepted this because we remain convinced the JV provides the best way to secure the long term future of the Co-op’s travel businesses.”

“Thomas Cook is fully consulting with Usdaw and our key priority will be to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum. Hopefully there will be opportunities for redeployment and we’ll be trying to maximise these and do everything else we can to support and represent our members through this very difficult time.”

“There is never a good time to be told your job is at risk but to hear just before Christmas is particularly devastating for everyone affected.”

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?