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TUI is looking to expand its retail network in the UK


TUI is aiming to expand its retail footprint in the UK as it recognizes the benefits of a physical presence.

Group chief executive Sebastian Ebel also said the travel giant is seeing “very good” feedback from third-party retailers, following TUI’s move to sell through independent agencies as well as its own.

“We’ve gained a lot of confidence, which is driving good numbers,” he said.

Speaking after TUI announced its second quarter results and “promising” bookings for this summer, Ebel said: “We would like to expand our UK retail outlets, not by 100 or 200, but by a small number.”

The results announcement noted that 80% of package holiday customers use the TUI app, but added: “Digital services go hand in hand with our successful in-store sales organization, which continues to play an important role.”

Commenting on sales through the app, Mr. Ebel noted: “Retail is a very profitable business, a very stable business. We do everything we can to keep retailers happy, and we have great retailers and we see a future for retail. We’ve seen the younger generation coming back into retail. That’s something I’ve seen in my family, but I didn’t expect it. So, the main effort is to move the mobile customer to our app.”

The percentage of sales made through the app increased from 4.4% in the second quarter of 2023 to 6.8% in the second quarter of 2024.

Mr. Ebel also stated that it would be “‘wrong policy” to offer better prices to app customers compared to retail customers, even though the cost of marketing through the app is much lower.

“We see the value of retail [with] great service and great upselling. Retail is not just about price,” the TUI group chief executive stressed.

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