Sunny Heart Travel to open chain of shops

By Lisa James
Home » Sunny Heart Travel to open chain of shops

Sunny Heart Travel, the tour operator set up by former Thomas Cook head office staff, is to open a network of retail branches.

The company has signed a deal with department store Beales to have a shop in each of its three outlets.

Stores are currently being fitted out and the operator is looking for agency staff.

Sunny Heart Travel has been selling direct to customers online and via the phone since spring 2021 and had planned to open sales through the trade last summer, but held off because of the pandemic.

The first branch will be in Peterborough, where Sunny Heart Travel is based, followed by Beales’ stores in Poole and Southport. The opening date for the first branch has not yet been finalised.

Chief Executive Steve Bentzen said: “It was always the plan to have a physical presence and it feels even more important these days to do so, to support clients.

“We have a lot of combined experience in store refurbishment and the fit-out has started in earnest.

“The first location is Peterborough, where our travel journey began, and where we have had fantastic support from the local media.

“Of course, the most important factor is the staff, and we would urge anyone with a travel retail background to contact us immediately on [email protected], as we are interviewing.

“Online trading has seen us through the pandemic, but for me online only is a bit like a band that doesn’t play live.

“It’s important to meet your clients and provide a friendly face to give them the confidence that they always have someone helpful on hand to deal with any issues.

“I think now more than ever we are being judged on customer service rather than just price.

“We are super-excited about the next phase in our development. Our plans were slowed by COVID but we always held on to the vision and we are so happy it’s now become a reality.”

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