Troubled travel firm Thomas Cook has announced plans to shut 18 of its branches in Scotland, making 84 people jobless.
The news follows the group’s recent announcement that it was to close 200 stores across the UK, resulting in more than 2,500 job losses.
The company has cited the difficult trading conditions the holiday market now represents, as the crowded internet is now the favoured purchase point for holidaymakers.
Indicative of the troubles the firm has faced, Thomas Cook announced a pre-tax loss of £485.3million.
Stores to close in the country include three in Glasgow; at Bearsden, Knightswood and Shawlands.
Announcing the plans, the MD of the firm, Joanna Wild said:
“As a large retailer we regularly review our network to make sure we have the right stores in the right places for our customers and regrettably there are occasions where we need to close certain branches. Following careful consideration, we have announced that eighteen stores are proposed to close in Scotland and we are working with those colleagues who are affected.”
The holiday firm has been rocked not only by the economic downturn and changing buying habits, though. Political situations in the Middle East and North Africa have seriously affected travel to popular destinations such as Egypt and Tunisia.
Its high debts have also been a factor, whilst many of its competitors have moved to different strategies such as invoice discounting.
Thomas Cook has started a period of consultation with its employees over the closures, which will report in June.