Virgin launches high street offshoot of Travelstore brand

Virgin Travelstore plans to launch a chain of high street outlets after opening its first shop near London’s Victoria station earlier this month.

The company is investing &£10m in up to ten stores nationally over the next two to three years.

The outlets, which will sell a range of flights, hotels and package deals, will complement Virgin Travelstore’s Internet and call-centre services.

Virgin aims to offer a new approach to high street travel retailing, with plasma screens in shop windows replacing traditional cards to provide up-to-date details of the latest offers.

The decision to establish a high street presence follows a year of upheaval for Travelstore. Managing director Ian Brooks left in November after less than a year and his replacement, Ed Sims, left after less than four months with the company. Peter Davies, former chairman of Worldwide Travel, which merged with Virgin Travelstore in February, was appointed managing director in April.

Earlier this month Virgin unveiled its revamped online travel agency. The website will concentrate on hotel and flight bookings following the closure in February of the company’s package holiday supplier, Dreamticket.com.

The Victoria store will be promoted through a PR campaign and local competitions, with plans for an above-the-line campaign once more shops have opened.

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