TUI begins slow demise of First Choice on high street

TUI begins slow demise of First Choice on high street

TUI UK has confirmed it will re-brand its high street retail outlets by introducing “Thomson….. featuring First Choice” to increase presence and develop its position.

Over the course of the next two years, TUI will be investing £8 million in changing the look of all its high street retail stores, starting this month in the Exeter region.

Since Thomson and First Choice merged in 2007, the British high street has seen both brands standing separately, but offering the same holiday options in more than 700 locations.

The re-brand forms part of TUI UK’s long term distribution strategy and will see Thomson become the leading TUI brand on the high street.

At the same time, the project will triple the presence of the First Choice brand around the country, giving customers “unrivalled access” to the widest range of products.

The project has been spearheaded by Kathryn Ward, retail director, and Nick Longman, distribution director, who has also recently been appointed online director for the Mainstream Sector.

Longman said: “We have two major, distinctive brands, and have a strong presence across the country.

“We want to make the biggest, clearest impact we can, for our customers. Thomson is a hugely recognised brand and will therefore take the lead on all shops, but First Choice will also feature because it has a clear proposition and strong appeal in its own right.

“There is certainly room for both brands, and customers will benefit from the breadth and clarity of what we have to offer.

“To ensure we remain market leaders on the high street we need to give our customers unrivalled accessibility to the best choice of our wide range of products.

“That is why we are bringing both our market leading brands to all of the towns we operate in.”

The next two years will see TUI UK’s entire retail estate go through the re-branding process, taking the look and feel of a Thomson shop and introducing clear and prominent First Choice branding, emphasising the company’s investment in the high street.

The refurbishment and re-branding of the entire TUI UK retail estate is due to be completed by October 2013.