New Miles Morgan shop is ‘most successful’ branch opening

Miles Morgan, founder of Miles Morgan Travel, has said the latest addition to his network has proved to be the “most successful” opening the agency chain has ever seen.

The branch in Clevedon, Somerset, is the 19th shop in the southwest miniple and opened six months ago when the Omicron variant of Covid-19 was surging.

Morgan tweeted about the successful opening, along with a quote from Only Fools And Horses: “Reviewed the first six months sales of my latest new shop. It has been the most successful of any shop I have opened, ever! Huge congratulations to Team Clevedon. Brilliant. Crazy opening mid pandemic? I dunno, because as that great philosopher said ‘Who dares wins Rodney’.”

Morgan told Travel Weekly the success was thanks to shop having the “perfect ingredients”, saying it was in “the right town in the right location for our demographic”, along with “fantastic staff”.

He paid tribute to the experienced manager, plus the team of four agents – two of whom had worked in the shop when it was a Tui branch.

“In January, if you’d asked me about it, I would have said it will do well, but it has exceeded my expectations,” he added.

“It is right in the middle of our patch and if you stop people on the street, a high percentage of them will have heard of us.

“We’ve had 10 years of aggressively marketing our brand.”

Morgan also appears regularly as a travel expert on local Points West news bulletins, which are watched by a similar older demographic as the chain’s main target market.

“They’re more affluent and lots are retired,” he said.

Short-haul sales dominate, because that market has returned more quickly as travel restrictions have eased, but the branch is also selling ocean and river cruises as well as longer-haul holidays.

The former Tui members of staff have also reported plenty of new customers being attracted to the branch, especially as consumers want the reassurance of dealing face-to-face with a travel agent.

Miles Morgan Travel, Clevedon

“With Omicron, you could say it was brave or stupid to open, but I always try to be positive and not look in the rear view mirror,” he added.

Morgan said sales across the whole Miles Morgan Travel network are “very strong” as the recovery is “swift” although there are challenges with call wait times, and more time being spent on each booking as customers need to know about travel rules.

The chain is always on the lookout for other opportunities to expand in areas that match its demographic, he commented.

“The great thing is, as a small business, we can do whatever we want and take advantage of any opportunities as we have no shareholders,” he said.

Pictured from left at the opening of the Clevedon shop are: Judi Shelton, travel specialist; manager Abigail Limm and Amanda Goss, travel specialist. Other colleagues not pictured are travel specialists Terri Stillman and Emilie Garrett.

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