Thomas Cook to start trial in five Sainsbury’s outlets

Thomas Cook is to trial shops in five Sainsbury’s stores in a structured test of in-store concessions.

The travel company has named five of the sites in the test so far. Concessions in Peterborough, Hull and Sunderland will be active by the end of this week. Shops within Harrogate and Nantwich Sainsbury’s stores are to open next month and the trial is planned to last for a year.

Thomas Cook already has concessions in two Tesco stores, but a spokeswoman says these were opened on an ad hoc basis and are not part of any structured evaluation.

Rival travel company MyTravel already has a number of Going Places concessions in Sainsbury’s outlets.

The Thomas Cook spokeswoman adds that the company is testing the outlets in areas which are not over-supplied with travel agents.

Sainsbury’s marketing manager for concessions Jonathan Langden says: “Sainsbury’s already has a number of in-store travel agents, which are popular with customers. As a result, we are eager to develop the best offer and are looking forward to working with Thomas Cook to develop this.”

Thomas Cook began trials of a new retail concept last May, when it opened Thomas Cook Active at the Xscape entertainment and sports centre in Milton Keynes (MW May 23, 2002). Thomas Cook Active targets sports and leisure enthusiasts.

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