08/20/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // Co-operative Travel
The Midcounties Co-operative Travel has formed a strategic alliance with Advantage Travel Centres and will formally join the consortium of independent travel agents from 1 April.
It follows Midcounties’ decision not to take part in the merger between Thomas Cook, the Co-operative Travel Group and Midlands Co-operative.
Consortium membership is seen as a natural fit for Midcounties as, unlike many other travel agencies, both organisations are exclusively owned by their members.
Midcounties Chief Executive Ben Reid said: “It was a bold decision to remove ourselves from the merger with Thomas Cook but we fought hard to build the integrity of the Co-operative brand with consumers and were not prepared to give it up lightly.
“We would only lend our considerable commercial muscle to an organisation that shares our same vision and values. I am confident Advantage Travel Centres is that partner and look forward to working with ATC as active an member of the organisation.”
Alistair Rowland, Group General Manager, Travel Services, for Midcounties, added: “Effective partnerships such as this will prove invaluable as we pursue our strategy to grow quickly and strongly as a fully independent travel retailer delivering the best deals to the people who trust their holiday booking with us.”
Midcounties Co-operative Travel has overall sales of more than £80 million. It runs 38 travel branches, along with the website www.cooptravel.co.uk, with and a strong high street presence across the West Midlands and the Cotswolds.
Advantage has a group turnover in excess of £3.5bn, with £2.3bn being leisure sales. The partnership with Midcounties reinforces Advantage’s position as the largest and most powerful independent group in the UK travel sector.
Midcounties intends making the most of the entire Advantage membership benefits package including negotiated commercial terms, marketing materials and business development activity.
John McEwan, Chief Executive of Advantage Travel Centres, said: “We are delighted that The Midcounties Co-operative has decided to join Advantage. Not only does it strengthen our already considerable buying power but it also provides an attractive geographical fit with the rest of the Advantage membership.”
The decision by Midcounties follows the announcement last month that Northern Irish travel group Consort, with 30 outlets, has also joined Advantage Travel Centres.
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For further media information please contact Colin O’Neill at Advantage Travel Centres ([email protected]) on 020 7324 3942
About The Midcounties Co-operative
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 and employee benefits. The Midcounties Co-operative is the second largest independent co-operative society in the UK and has more than 470 branches, and 245,000 active trading members. It has recently been ranked in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For list.
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’.
About Co-operative Travel
Co-operative Travel offer a variety of holidays, flights and hotels. They are providers of package holidays for 2012, including cheap holidays to turkey and late cruise deals.
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