Girvan branch saved from the axe: Thomas Cook keeps trading

LOCAL SUPPORT: Girvan and district is being urged to stick with their local branch as 200 Thomas Cook offices are shed. "We want to stay here," said manager Lorna McColm.
LOCAL SUPPORT: Girvan and district is being urged to stick with their local branch as 200 Thomas Cook offices are shed. "We want to stay here," said manager Lorna McColm.

Holiday-makers in Girvan and district will be keeping their vacation planning local as Thomas Cook in Girvan is saved from closure.

Staff at Girvan’s Dalrymple Street branch were last week relieved to hear they would not be included in a cut of around 2500 jobs across the UK.

Thomas Cook stores in 200 locations are now earmarked to shut, and the news follows the closure of 200 stores previously after the company faced tough times amidst the troubles in the Middle East throughout 2011.

But despite expectations that the worst-affected stores in the latest round of closures would be in smaller, rural areas, Girvan joins offices in Stranraer, Castle Douglas, and Dumfries saved from the axe.

Despite its small size – with only three staff – the Girvan branch has a loyal local customer base, and its employees have developed a good reputation among Glasgow clients seeking a break at the seaside.

Should Girvan not have been so lucky, holiday-makers would have been forced to make the half hour trip to Ayr to make their arrangements, or transfer their business online.

Girvan manager Lorna McColm said she was delighted her store would continue to trade.

“I am really pleased that the staff here are not in a negative situation,” she said. “It is a lovely industry to work in, and it’s a pleasure to plan people’s holiday dreams for them.

“There is a generation now that will not think twice about doing things online, but there is still a generation that is not happy doing that.

“We are very much a shop with a high customer service record within the company, and I have been here for 30 years so there’s a lot of trust there. We have repeat customers coming in because they want to see us.”