Travel firm TUI has announced that it is planning to close 166 of its stores across the UK and Ireland.
At present, TUI has 10 outlets in Ireland, eight of which are currently listed as being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two outlets that are listed as still being open are on Dublin's Talbot Street and in Kilkenny.
According to The Irish Independent, one TUI official said that four of the firm's Irish outlets are likely to close permanently, while a second official stated that at least some of TUI's Irish outlets will remain open.
A London-based TUI spokesperson said, "I can confirm none of the stores that are currently open are at risk of closure."
The Irish Independent reports that an agent at TUI's Talbot Street outlet said that the store's staff have not yet been informed about its future.
TUI expects approximately 350 of its outlets to survive the planned cuts, and intends to move 70% of the closing outlets' approximately 900 employees to work-from-home roles and other outlets. However, 250 to 300 jobs may be lost due to the planned closures.
The managing director of TUI for the UK and Ireland, Andrew Flintham, stated that the company needs a smaller footprint because 70% of its sale now take place online, and said, "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 spokespeople stated that no holiday bookings will be affected by the planned store closures.
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