Midcounties Co-operative, one of the UK’s largest independent consumer co-operatives, has finalised an agreement with award-winning, independent travel agency, Carrick Travel to transfer seven of its branches to the society’s retail travel division, Co-operative Travel.
The agreement sees the Carrick Travel branch in Cheylesmore, West Midlands and all colleagues employed there, join Co-operative Travel, effective 2 October 2020. The move takes the society’s portfolio of Co-operative Travel shops across England to 78.
Located at 161 Daventry Road in Cheylesmore, the travel agency remains open to customers and will complement Co-operative Travel’s existing West Midlands branches.
The shop will continue to trade as Carrick Travel but will be part of the Co-operative Travel family.
Rad Sofronijevic, Chief Operating Officer of Co-operative Travel, said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Travel remains core to Midcounties’ long-term strategy. The transfer of Carrick Travel gives us the opportunity to grow the Co-operative Travel operations for the benefit of our members, with shops that are located in the heart of their communities and to serve an additional customer base that complements our own.
“We look forward to nurturing and supporting the former Carrick Travel branches and their staff. Their welcome addition will strengthen the position of Midcounties Co-operative’s Travel division for the future”.
Eight-time winner of Travel Weekly’s “Agent Achievement Award for Central England - Small Agency”, Carrick Travel’s shops supported 10,000 customers with their travel arrangements over the last 12 months.
Tina Nason and Tracey Carter, owners of Carrick Travel, who will not be joining those staff transferring to Co-operative Travel, as part of the agreement, said: “It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Carrick Travel. However, we are incredibly happy that the journeys of our valued customers and many of our talented colleagues will continue under Co-operative Travel. The protection of our staff and clients has always been our highest priority. By agreeing a transfer with The Midcounties Co-operative, particularly with the security that being part of a diverse business provides during these tough times in travel, we are ensuring the protection of our clients and as many of our colleagues’ jobs as possible.
“We have operated Carrick Travel very much as a family business with our stores playing an important role in the communities they serve. Co-operative Travel’s community-focused mindset and principles of care and compassion match our own ethos and we know that our team members and clients will be passed into very safe hands.”
The seven branches that have transferred to Co-operative Travel are in Kenilworth (Warwickshire), Stratford Upon Avon (Warwickshire), Leamington Spa (Warwickshire), Cheylesmore (West Midlands), Pershore (Worcestershire), Grantham (Lincolnshire) and Newark (Nottinghamshire). The four Carrick Travel branches that are not included in the transfer agreement closed their doors at the end of September 2020.