11/26/2012 (press release: OnlinePR) // UK // Lorna Bishop
Two colleagues who took on the travel business where they worked have taken another important step and joined the new consortium formed by The Midcounties Co-op Travel.
BT Travel, run by Lisa Whiston and Leigh Simmonds, and based in Solihull Lodge, West Midlands, is the latest member to see the value of the partnership for independent agents.
Lisa and Leigh moved to new premises and are putting their own stamp on the business while retaining the loyal customer base built up over the years through a focus on personal service and expertise.
The women became the proprietors after manager/owner Pip Waterhouse sadly died in April this year and John Waterhouse, her husband and business partner, retired in October and passed the business onto them.
Leigh said: “BT Travel has been established for 30 years. I have worked here for 16 years and Lisa for 26 years. When we were given the opportunity to run the business ourselves we could not turn it down.
“We have a number of regular clients and great rapport with them and we do well on personal recommendations to attract new customers. People still appreciate a friendly service and personal touch when it comes to arranging their holidays.
“We decided to join the Midcounties Consortium because we liked their approach and they were the right choice for us. It is good to have the backing of such a group and while some of the systems are new to us the support we have had as a new member has been brilliant.”
Welcoming BT Travel, Midcounties’ Alistair Rowland, Group General Manager of Travel, said: “More and more independents are recognising the benefits of joining our consortium. We are delighted that BT Travel is the latest independent to come on board. We have a number of other interested parties as the venture has continued to gain momentum.”
Gillian Travis, Business Development Manager, The Co-op Consortium, said: “The consortium is attracting a wide variety of travel agents and we would be delighted to hear from others who share our vision and want to work with us.”
The consortium will retain principal ATOL status for each of its members.
Midcounties has embarked on a strategy of rapid growth as it aims to become the leading independent travel retailer in the UK, 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 25 Big 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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