Thomas Cook is the latest business to announce store closures.
The holiday firm, which has a shop in Biggleswade High Street, has announced that it will be closing 195 of its 1,069 stores in British high streets.
Today (Wednesday) Thomas Cook UK & Ireland entered a 90 day consultation process with a number of its UK employees on the next phase of the three year programme to transform its operations.
The company, which also has two stores in Bedford and others in nearby towns, cannot confirm which shops will close yet as staff are still being informed.
Thomas Cook currently employs 15,500 people in the UK and around 2,500 full time roles will be axed.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland’s CEO, said: “It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people but we also owe it to our customers to shape the business effectively and ensure that, when they book their holiday with us, our administrative costs are as low as possible.
“As we improve and develop our online capabilities, maintaining a strong presence on the high street is an important part of our omni-channel strategy. Even after these changes we will still have one of the largest retail networks in UK travel.
“It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company, allowing us to meet the future needs of our customers more effectively.
“These proposals will mean a stronger Thomas Cook that continues to be a major employer in the UK dedicated to providing excellent holiday experiences to our 23 million customers.
“We are in consultation with our Unions and employee representative bodies to minimise the impact of these changes and I am speaking personally to all employees today to provide information and support through this period of consultation.”
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Weather for Biggleswade
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west