Teletext Holidays will support its digital operations by opening five high street stores next year in its core market of the north and midlands.
Speaking at an e-tid breakfast briefing at the Travel Convention in Palma, Majorca, Teletext Holidays managing director Victoria Sanders said the firm’s Chesterfield store had proved a success.
This shop is located in a standalone unit within a Tesco superstore development. A second pilot store in Pitsea that was within a Tesco store has been closed.
“What we realised is people are going round the supermarket shopping and the last thing they want to do is pop into the travel agent.
“The Chesterfield store has proved successful for us and that will be rolled out. The plan is to open at least five next year, with Tesco ideally, and we will rent units and we will go onto the high street.
“For us it’s about location, making sure we have the right demographic. We like the concept with Tesco. The Chesterfield store has footfall of around 70,000 people a week.”
The stores are franchised to Broadway Travel, which operates them under its own Abta membership and Atol licence and the new stores will follow the same model.
Sanders said the concept for the stores was to give Teletext Holidays a tangible presence to augment its online and television profile and to “bring the brand to life”.
Teletext owner the Daily Mail and General Trust has vowed to invest in the brand next year, Sanders said, with development of its internet enabled television platform at the heart of its plans.
The travel media channel launched an internet TV app in partnership with Samsung earlier this year and is poised to announce tie-ups with two other manufacturers.
Sanders admitted the move from analogue television to freeview had not been as successful as hoped.
“Consumers want to interact with their TV in a different way. For us any new development on television will be purely through IPTV,” Sanders said.
“Being in that space and having a brand that’s synonymous with TV is great for us but we have to work on what’s next for TV.”
A new iPad app is set to be showcased next week at the Travolution Summit’s Teletext Holidays-sponsored ‘app store’.
“It’s about having a suite of distribution platforms where people can interact,” Sanders said. “Yes, there is a cost associated with the high street but we have made it work. It’s about extension of the brand effectively.”
The brand is in talks with Ofcom, which is looking to free up Teletext’s 101 channel number for adult programmes – a situation Sanders said would call for extensive marketing on Teletext’s part.