An independent travel agent has hailed the benefits of a strong brand name after moving two of his stores into former Co-operative Travel sites and seeing sales boom.
David McDonald – who has three Midcounties Co-operative Travel World Travel Lounge stores – opened the latest in a former Co-op Travel premises in the Lancashire town of Fleetwood, near Blackpool, in September.
McDonald, who was part of TTG’s 30 Under 30 2016-2017 intake, said he believed consumer confidence in having the “Co-op name” back on the town’s high street had played “a big part” in its success, adding that it almost tripled its sales target in its first month of trading.
He also moved his Cleveleys store into a former Co-op branch in April and says he has seen business double since it reopened.
When World Travel Lounge was launched in 2015, it was dual-branded with Midcounties.
However, this year it adopted staff uniforms, window POS materials and in-store branding. McDonald said this had also “hugely” helped overall sales increase 50% year-on-year.
“For people wanting to set up [their own] agency, there’s a lot of nervousness around [consumers] trusting their brand – Midcounties’ backing makes things a lot easier and gives your business a really strong start,” McDonald added.