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27 Sep 2017

BY Jennifer Morris

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Thomas Cook creates 89 store manager roles to replace cluster manager positions

Thomas Cook has launched a consultation period over the future of store and cluster manager roles, and plans to wind down its central homeworking operation all together.

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Cook creates 89 store manager positions but can't comment on whether move will lead to redundancies

The proposed structure will see the creation of 89 store manager roles in six regions.

The proposal to create store manager roles in all stores in Bristol and Exeter, Cardiff Central, Northern Ireland, Stansted and Norwich and both Scottish regions will replace existing cluster manager positions, where managers have responsibility for several stores across a wide geographic region.

 

This investment will reduce travelling time for managers in these regions “allowing them to focus on improving customer service and performance, as well as developing and coaching their teams”, Cook said.


A further change will see the replacement of the assistant manager role in smaller stores across these six regions with an entry-level store manager role.

Cook said the “reinvestment” in standalone management roles in all store sizes in these six regions reflected “the significant change in the retail landscape, including a reduced number of stores in the network that are more dispersed” since cluster manager roles were introduced in 2013.


Current cluster managers in these six regions will be able to apply for a store manager role, as well as assistant mangers and customer service managers. This proposal is being discussed with colleagues whose roles are impacted, Cook said.

Thomas Cook’s UK director of retail and customer experience, Kathryn Darbandi, said: “Our retail management team plays a critical role in the success of our stores across the UK and Northern Ireland. These new roles present an exciting opportunity for both existing and aspiring managers and would empower them to better meet the changing demands of our customers.”

In addition, Cook is proposing a change to its contact centre cruise homeworking operation by fully integrating the duties of the small team of cruise homeworkers, who are responsible for cruise distribution, into its Peterborough contact centre.

 

The homeworkers impacted by this proposal would be offered roles in the Peterborough or Falkirk contact centres, or the opportunity to continue working from home as a Co-operative Travel Personal Advisor.

 

The completion of this transition will mean Cook no longer operates a central homeworking operation.

 

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: "This is an investment programme with career development opportunities; we would be creating more store manager roles than the number of cluster managers we currently have.


"We would hope to retain as many colleagues as possible."

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