It is testament to the eye-catching look and hardworking exploits of Thomas Cook’s Metrocentre branch that the store stands out among more than 340 outlets in Europe’s biggest shopping mall.
Those passersby enticed to admire the store’s centre-point – its stylish globe – or who have a query with an online booking are regularly blown away by the passion and expertise of Cook’s top-performing shop nationwide in 2018.
The 11-strong outfit saw sales surge 450% last year and, with impressive figures like that, it is no wonder boss Sandra Foreman was named the company’s best manager. What a way to enter her 30th year of service.
With its vibrant colours, welcome reception, stylish furniture, children’s area and use of VR technology, Thomas Cook Metrocentre has offered a futuristic and fun way to book a holiday since it was rebranded as a “Discovery” store in May 2017.
Underpinning its modernised methods is the team’s tried-and-tested approach – with more than 200 years of travel-selling experience between them.
From the teams’ own “Team Norms” on how to treat each other and customers, to giving “Sparkler Awards” for outstanding customer service, Sandra is totally focused on supporting her close-knit group.
Staff training is essential, and the team is encouraged to attend regular sessions.
Former apprentice Jade – who during last year’s Top 50 process had just completed a manager training plan – is now managing Thomas Cook’s Redcar branch, much to Sandra’s pride.
And the learning doesn’t stop when off the shop floor; in the staff room, the team has jotted down their destination specialisms on the wall to give colleagues inspiration and help to make bookings extra special.
Contributing to a Newcastle Evening Chronicle article “Where are Geordies holidaying?”, with Sandra giving her top destination picks, is one of the recent reasons punters have flocked to the shop.
New cruise events and a Disney weekend, during which little ones were given their own gift when parents booked, have also prompted sales to soar.
The team also helped spread joy last Christmas as, instead of running their own Secret Santa, they donated gifts to a collection for underprivileged children.