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Travel with Kitts

In with the new T

he debate about brochures in travel agencies is nothing new. For years, retailers have been toying with the idea

of doing away with traditional racks and making sure staff interact with customers instead of them walking away with a brochure. And of course it’s a fundamental factor in how a store is designed too – do away with the racks and you also win back space. When Hazel Bryant bought Kitts Travel in 2013

and started the process of rebranding it to Travel With Kitts, a redesign of the shop in Potters Bar was top of mind – as was the chance to reshuffle the way the agency displayed its brochures. “I remember being at an Aito conference and

hearing Gemma [Antrobus, now chairperson of Aito Specialist Travel Agents] say that you have to get the brochures away from your customers because they of course then have to engage with you,” Bryant says. Of course they haven’t gone forever, but it’s

now a little trickier for people to come in, pick what they want and disappear. Bryant has now arranged them in themes in her shop – cities and short breaks; worldwide, Australia and New Zealand; US and Canada; and Caribbean, with eye-catching photography or props over and around each of the four travel consultant’s desks. And once where there was a row of consultants, Bryant has opened up each desk area to try and bring in a higher degree of space and privacy – for clients who want or need more of that, a lounge area has been created with an old storage cupboard of the shop now providing a private consulting room.

Talk of the town “Having a customer lounge should be a must for agents these days,” Bryant explains, “as you are either offering them an appointment in there for a big trip or booking that’s coming up, or want to do a cash transaction with them, or it could even be they have had a bereavement and have to cancel their trip so want more discretion. It’s just great to have that option of another space in the store. “At the end of the day too, Potters Bar is a

small town – and people talk. So some clients just don’t want everyone overhearing what they’re planning,” she explains.

When Hazel Bryant’s boss retired, she took over and embarked on a shop refurbishment, introducing bold splashes of colour to the shop in Potters Bar and clearing out the clutter, but retaining the charm and reputation of a local business author: April Hutchinson

Running a business in a small town also

means the chance to play an active role in the community and Bryant likes to get involved in charity events when she can. It also means forming mutually beneficial relationships, such

down to me,” she says, keen to also let partners in the trade know that the business has changed ownership under her steer. “The name Kitts Travel had been around for a long time – but I also want people to know about

“I still spend as much time as possible selling holidays, that’s what I love doing ” Hazel Bryant

as the one she has with the local Revive Spa & Gym, where she has negotiated a display area for some of her brochures and branding. “We work well together on marketing and

customers who book with us via promotions with the gym get a free lounge pass for the airport,” she says. Finding the time for marketing is key for Bryant

and she always makes sure she gets a half-page advert in local magazine Potters Bar Eye. “As an owner now of course I have to focus on running the business and marketing does come


the changes we’ve been making since I took over.” Her ideas went into the new branding too, with

bold reds and golds representing the new face of Kitts. Red is a colour she has taken into the shop with the redesign, with a bold red feature wall at the back. Red and cream flowers are on display and the red also features on the new comfier chairs she has introduced for customers. She has just finished the company website, which highlights the staff and their specialisations, key destinations featured, striking imagery and the facility for clients to

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