The Co-op Group is looking for a marketing chief to head its newly created &£1.1bn travel business buying and marketing group.
Five Co-operative travel businesses – the Co-operative Group, United Co-operatives, Midlands Co-op, West Midlands Co-op and Leeds Co-op – are to pool their buying and marketing operations in a single organisation, the Co-operative Travel Trading Group.
CTTG is modelled on the Co-operative Retail Trading Group, which buys food and undertakes marketing activities, including TV advertising, promotions and point-of-purchase activity for the entire Co-operative movement.
Similarly, CTTG’s head of marketing will be responsible for advertising and promotions for the travel businesses of its members, which together will operate out of 600 travel outlets with sales of more than &£1bn.
The move puts CTTG alongside players such as Lunn Poly and Thomas Cook in terms of sales, but unlike them it does not operate as a vertical business, selling own-brand products through its travel agents. Instead, CTTG claims to be the largest independent holiday and travel distribution network in the UK, selling 3 million holidays annually.
CTTG’s members account for 90 per cent of the Co-op’s travel business. In all, there are 40 independent co-operative societies, of which about 20 have travel business units. The Co-operative Group operates travel businesses for ten of these under its Travelcare brand.