Airdrie’s branch of travel agent Tui has closed down, as the firm axes 166 of its high-street stores across the country.

The doors of its premises on Stirling Street will remain shut as part of the company’s restructure, including a shift to online reflecting “changes in customer behaviour”.

A spokesperson for Tui UK told the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser: “We can confirm that we’ve made the very difficult decision to permanently close the Tui retail store in Airdrie.

“We would like to thank our loyal customers for their support and our amazing retail advisors for all their hard work.”

The company has not specified how many staff members are impacted by the decision to close the Airdrie branch – while those selected for closure were chosen based on a range of factors including local market data.

Customers with travel reservations made at the local branch were alerted to the news by emails stating: “Unfortunately our Airdrie Tui store has closed”, but adding: “Don’t worry – your booking is unaffected.”

Tui first announced in July that it planned to close nearly a third of its branches across the UK and Ireland, affecting up to 900 jobs; while saying that they hoped to retain nearly three-quarters of impacted staff through a newly expanded range of home-working roles and in its remaining branches, now numbering around 350.

Managing director Andrew Flintham said: “Customer behaviours have already changed in recent years, with 70% of all Tui bookings taking place online.

“We believe Covid-19 has only accelerated this change in purchasing habits, with people looking to buy online or wishing to speak with travel experts from the comfort of their own home.

“Tui has world-class travel advisers, so we hope many of them will become home workers and continue to offer the personalised service we know our customers value.”

“We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, and it’s imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions.”

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