Fred Olsen Travel to open third concept store in partnership with Carnival Corporation

Fred Olsen Travel has revealed plans for its third concept store, which will open in partnership with Carnival Corporation.

The store in a former pub in Ringwood, Hampshire, will be the retailer’s 20th shop and will have a grand opening in June following a soft opening in May.

The company opened its first concept store in Eastbourne in June last year and its second in Worthing this year.

Retail director Paul Hardwick, who announced the news at the Fred Olsen Travel 2024 conference at the De Vere Latimer Estate Hotel in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, said: “It’s the perfect town for us and we have been looking at it for many years.

“It is quite a large shop for us so there is huge scope to grow. My aim is still to get to 25 stores by 2025.”

Hardwick also revealed there were “a few other exciting projects in the pipeline”, adding: “I hope to add some additional extra shops to the portfolio this year and continue to grow that next year, which will grow our turnover and grow our overall business.”

The new project will be the first time the retailer has worked in partnership with multiple brands from one company for a concept store, after being approached by Carnival.

The brands, which include P&O Cruises, Cunard, Seabourn, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line, will all have their logos and dedicated point of sale materials, including brochures, displayed behind different desks in the store.

Hardwick confirmed “lots of operators” were approaching Fred Olsen Travel about future concept stores, with more planned in the next 18 months.

Its concept store in Worthing was opened in partnership with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Titan and Classic Collection, while Eastbourne opened with Cunard, Riviera Travel, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Hardwick added: “What we have seen so far is that operators see double the growth that they would normally see in one of our normal stores. Our aim is to have a profit from day one and we have managed that in the concept stores so far.”

The new shop will initially have three staff, including a manager, and will include a luxury lounge area. It will sell other suppliers but the focus will be on its store partners.

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