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TOP OF THE SHOPS


SPONSORED BY


Oasis Travel, Bangor


Some of the Barrhead Travel, Oswald Street, Glasgow team


finalists. Whether demonstrating old-fashioned charm or cutting-edge technology, the following five stores really stood out. The winner of this category will gain a place in our Top 50 list for 2017.


.TRAVELUX, TENTERDEN


This store, now part of the Baldwins Travel Group, has been serving the discerning travellers of Tenterden in Kent for more than 40 years. The store is located on East Cross


Street, which runs through the centre of the town, with pretty red-tiled buildings on one side and a huge park on the other. Our judges liked the vintage suitcases and globe stacked in the window, and the fact


High street charmers T


his award will be presented to the high street store that most caught our eye when we visited our 60 regional


that the window panes were free of any offers cards or posters. Safari and Asia-inspired hats on the wall completed the quaint and elegant feel.


.PREFERRED TRAVEL, FLEET


This high street agency in Hampshire has invested in technology to give the store a modern feel, with a large flatscreen TV in the window – shouting about their Top 50 shortlisting when we visited – and further TV screens inside. We liked the bright, bold colour scheme, the smart wooden flooring (no tatty carpet here!) and stylish glass desks. A select few offers and posters in the window, plus a fun Disney-themed display, made this store look professional and inviting.


.OASIS TRAVEL, BANGOR


Oasis Travel opened this store just last year, making it the newest and most luxurious in the group of five. Being able to design the store from


Preferred Travel, Fleet


scratch meant the agency was able to make best use of the long, narrow space. We liked the sophisticated colour palette of dark blue and white, with funky, cubic chairs, and brochures restricted to a double-row running most of the length of the store. A raised area at the rear of the store, with a wooden floor and a huge cruise ship mural on the wall,


created a suitably elegant zone in which to handle cruise enquiries.


.THOMAS COOK, STRATFORD


Thomas Cook’s newly opened store in the Westfield shopping centre is the first of its Discovery stores, where the focus is firmly on using technology to deliver the customer experience. The store front is entirely glass, and


free of posters and deal-cards. The customer journey through the store has been clearly thought about, with a high table close to the door, and consultation booths further back, while a huge Travel Money banner draws in passers-by. Our judges were wowed by the complimentary Wi-Fi, the use of video screens, and even


Travelux, Tenterden


virtual reality headsets on which clients can


explore hotels and resorts.


.BARRHEAD TRAVEL, OSWALD STREET, GLASGOW


Thomas Cook, Stratford


Barrhead Travel’s Oswald Street branch is its biggest and boldest, divided into various different zones, like a department store. These include a cruise zone, where advisors sit within a giant “bow” of a cruise ship, a flights zone where destinations are listed on screens like airport departure boards, and a Canada zone where advisors sit beside pretty French-style shop fronts. The customer journey has been carefully planned, with visitors welcomed as soon as they arrive, and directed to the appropriate area. Technology is used well, with giant screens on the walls and also in the shop window. A “Concierge” area, where higher-end customers are welcomed, demonstrate that this super-sized store does not only do quantity, but quality too.


TOP 50 TRAVEL AGENCIES 2017 SHORTLIST 45


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