Your Co-op Travel to develop further pop-up stores

Your Co-op Travel is to roll out further pop-up travel stores as part of a “test and learn” growth strategy for its retail network.

It comes as Co-op Travel, the travel retail division of The Midcounties Co-operative, this week officially launches its relocated store in Lydney, Gloucestershire, with a more interactive and sustainable format. There are currently 71 Co-op Travel stores.

Head of omnichannel development Ellis Cain-Jones said the company already had two pop-up stores, located in food stores in Gloucestershire, and was now looking at further locations and partnership opportunities to roll out more. He would not reveal numbers at this stage.

He said: “We have already developed a pop-up store format and we have got new pop-up stores coming and are looking to develop this further.”

The format would give the chain the chance to be “agile” as well as “reactive and proactive” in areas of high footfall and demand.

“We will take a live data approach, we will identify footfall hotspots,” he said.

The move follow the announcement of the group’s new, relocated Lydney and Sutton Coldfield branches – the first two with the new interactive format – which include travel hubs, digital screens and interactive maps, to inspire customer engagement and interest in travel.

Touch screen tablets showing animals on magnetic maps aim to encourage children to interact with them and find out, for example, where endangered species can be found on the planet.

They group said its new stores form part of its aim to become sustainable by working more closely with the local community and other businesses, encouraging sustainable products and charities, for example on boards in store. This could include asking local farms to bring sustainable produce for customers to try out.

“Supporting other local businesses and charities is really important,” said Cain-Jones, adding that recycled or upcycled building materials had been used to build parts of its new travel money kiosks, including the flooring and walls, along with energy efficient lighting.

“We are introducing more sustainable elements and products in store. We are using upcycled materials. Most importantly it’s about creating a modern environment for staff and customers while having these sustainable measures in place,” he said.

It follows news revealed at Abta’s Travel Convention that the group is looking to expand its homeworker numbers by 30% and hinted at opening in “non-travel spaces”.

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