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Northwood travel agent could close
CO-OPERATIVE Travel in Northwood is one of two branches in the borough which could close next year.
The travel agent, in Clive Parade, and another branch in Swakeley's Road, Ickenham, are among 200 stores earmarked for closure by parent company Thomas Cook.
The holiday firm merged with the Co-operative's travel arm earlier this year.
Four staff work at the Northwood branch and three at Ickenham.
A consultation period of 90 days is now underway with the workers but if the plans remain on track the branches are expected to close in March.
Thomas Cook stores, in Uxbridge, Ruislip and Hayes, will remain open.
Sam Weihagen, group chief executive of Thomas Cook, said: "This has been a very challenging year for the group, despite which we still delivered an underlying operating profit of over £300m. We have instigated significant management changes and implemented a turnaround plan in the UK to address our areas of underperformance.
"Customers have been very supportive in recent weeks and are continuing to book with Thomas Cook. Bookings outside the UK were broadly unaffected by news of our refinancing and in the UK bookings have recovered well. For over 170 years Thomas Cook has provided customers with fantastic holiday experiences and we will continue to do so."
The news was broken to staff at the branches before Christmas. It is not yet clear whether they will be offered jobs at other stores.
Customers who have booked holidays through the branches will not be affected and, if they do close, their trip will be managed by staff at another shop.
Thomas Cook - the country's oldest travel agency - recently announced an annual loss of £398m and is coming under pressure to reduce its £1bn debt, which it built up through acquisitions of rival agents such as Co-operative Travel.
Last month it had to ask for a £100m emergency bailout from its bankers
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