08/08/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // Lorna Bishop
Leading independent online travel agent Blue Bay Travel has joined the new consortium formed by The Midcounties Co-operative.
Blue Bay Travel, which specialises in arranging luxury long-haul travel and destination weddings, officially became a member of the group on 29 May.
Welcoming the move, Midcounties’ Alistair Rowland, Group General Manager of Travel, said: “We are delighted to have one of the best independent travel agents in the UK join our consortium. Blue Bay Travel is well respected in the industry with a deserved reputation for quality, tailor-made luxury holidays.
To gain its support at the start of our exciting new venture is a real show of confidence. It demonstrates that we have the right business model which understands the needs of independent, high value agents. These agents share our vision and will ultimately have a say in how the consortium is run.”
Multi-award winning agent Blue Bay Travel, based in Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, was formed ten years ago and has built up a passionate 30 strong workforce and an annual turnover of £15 million. Under the umbrella of Blue Bay Travel, it operates many brands including Caribbean Warehouse, Tropical Warehouse and Xclusivity.
Blue Bay Travel’s Stuart Wilson, Managing Director, said: “We are excited to join the consortium; Midcounties shares our values and we believe this partnership will give us the freedom to grow and strengthen our position as one of the UK’s leading independent agents, whilst allowing us to continue putting our clients first.
We are looking forward to working with Midcounties and are confident it will deliver a great deal of new opportunities for our clients.”
The consortium will retain principal ATOL status for each of its members. It is targeting around 30 agency members with turnovers of up to £20 million over the next three years. Channel Islands Co-operative and Chelmsford Star Co-operative are also amongst members that have already joined.
Midcounties has embarked on a strategy of rapid growth as it aims to become one of the best independent travel retailers in the country, with co-operative values at its core.
Notes to Editors
The Midcounties Co-operative has its headquarters in Warwickshire, with trading outlets in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Shropshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and the surrounding counties.
The Society’s trading groups are food retail, funeral, travel, pharmacy, childcare nurseries, employee benefits and energy. The Midcounties Co-operative is the largest independent co-operative society in the UK and has more than 470 branches, and 245,000 active trading members. It is in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For list for the second year running.
The Society’s mission statement is ‘To be a successful consumer co-operative working towards creating a better, fairer world, and to enhance the lives of our colleagues, members, customers, and the communities we serve’.
For more details call Lorna Bishop at Seal on 0121 616 5800. Visit www.midcounties.coop
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The Year will highlight the strengths of the co-operative business model as an alternative means of doing business and furthering socio-economic development.
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