Bolsover Cruise Club will not reopen its retail store, as the agency reveals plans to expands its call centre and online presence ahead of 2021.
The Cruise Holiday Shop has remained closed in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre since the UK’s coronavirus lockdown on 23 March.
Bolsover managing director Michael Wilson said the decision not to reopen the shop, which launched in 2014, “isn’t one we have taken lightly” but stressed there were “several factors” behind the plan.
“The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards e-commerce exponentially and with times changing so quickly, it is so important that we change with them,” he said.
Wilson revealed a new website for Bolsover, which had been in development since March, would launch later this month, with online booking capabilities “coming soon after”.
“This, along with a planned extension of our opening hours at the call centre as we bring the sales team back in-house will allow us to support our customers better than ever in what remain such uncertain times for them.”
Wilson said another factor in closing the Cruise Holiday Shop was the health and safety of staff.
“They are the ones who make us who we are and they’re the ones guiding our customers through this new normal. I have to put them first and the size of store at Meadowhall would have made it very difficult to maintain adequate social distancing.
“Instead, we’ll be encouraging clients to visit the Cruise Bureau at our Barlborough head office once we reopen. It’s a huge space with a fantastic team on hand to talk all things holidays.”
Bolsover temporarily shifted all operations to a homeworking model following March’s lockdown restrictions and will continue to service customers via telephone and online chat ahead of a phased return to the office.
Wilson said despite the cruise sector and wider travel industry facing “really challenging times”, he was “confident we’ll come through the other side stronger and more efficient than ever”.
“There are no plans for redundancies within the business and we’re already looking at areas for growth as we look ahead. We’re in a solid position to weather the storm,” he added.