Cumbria Travel has opened its third store in four years, with bosses predicting the new branch will become the chain’s top-selling location.
The independent agency, launched in Whitehaven by Tricia Rickerby and Leanne Miller in 2015, has now opened in Carlisle, hiring five new staff for the seven-strong team.
The city centre shop will be managed by Clare Heywood, previously assistant manager in Whitehaven, supported by Demi Markham, who has been promoted from an agent role at the Workington store.
Cumbria Travel has featured in the TTG Top 50 Travel Agencies each year since 2016, with Whitehaven named the North West’s Top Agency last year.
Rickerby and Miller told TTG each of Cumbria Travel’s existing shops had enjoyed “double-digit growth” during the peak booking period.
Cumbria’s Carlisle branch opened at the end of January – a strategy the pair said they had followed due to the success of their first two branches. “January is a really good time to open and get the brand out in the local communities,” said Rickerby.
“We’ve spaced out our expansion to give each store time to grow its personality and profile,” added Miller.
The pair said not only was Carlisle Rickerby’s home city, giving them good knowledge of the local area, but the new branch would link their shops in the region “to lay the foundations for future expansion”.
The Carlisle store is situated on Fisher Street, the location of a past non-related agency also named Cumbria Travel.
Rickerby and Miller said the move was a “complete coincidence” but were happy to carry on the name, saying it still resonated with older customers.
The new shop spans two floors – a first for Cumbria Travel – allowing the agency to keep an area for staff training and host manager meetings.