Kuoni to open more John Lewis concessions

Kuoni, a Swiss-based travel company is to open more concessions on the premises of stores owned by high street retailer, John Lewis.

The travel company intends to open four new concessions in John Lewis stores around the UK, a doubling of the four stores where it first opened concessions in the autumn of last year. The new locations will be in stores in Brent Cross, Aberdeen, Welwyn and Leicester, adding to existing stores in Southampton, Reading, Cardiff and Oxford Street in London.

The John Lewis store concessions are in addition to Kuoni’s own high street stores, of which there are 22 in the UK, along with another 5 independent partnership stores.

Derek Jones, managing director of Kuoni UK, said, ‘We are delighted our brand synergy with John Lewis has been so successful for both businesses and we’re really excited to have the opportunity to grow our partnership further and open four more concessions in autumn 2013. We strive to put our customers at the heart of everything we do and they really value the expert personal knowledge we provide. The success of our high street stores has shown that the best way to truly understand their needs is to spend time with them face to face in comfortable and inspiring surroundings.

‘The new concessions will allow us to bring our unique approach to travel retailing to even more locations around the UK.’

For its part, John Lewis also benefits from the partnership with Kuoni, as the travel company promotes the department store’s own travel insurance and is a partner to the John Lewis Gift List, which enables wedding guests to contribute to a honeymoon with Kuoni.

John Lewis to Host Kuoni Travel Stores

John Lewis, a UK-based chain of high street retail stores, has signed an agreement with Swiss-based tour operator, Kuoni, to locate travel stores in four John Lewis department stores around the country.

The first four travel stores are earmarked to open by the coming autumn in the John Lewis stores located in London Oxford Street, Reading, Southampton and Cardiff.

Kuoni is in the process of looking for new staff for the stores and expects to create nineteen full time jobs. The stores are likely to be fitted with similar hi-tech equipment to some of Kuoni’s existing stores, and include the use of plasma televisions and I-pads.

As part of the new relationship between the two companies, Kuoni will promote John Lewis travel insurance to all of its customers, whether calling at a store, contacting a call centre or on-line.

Kuoni managing director, Derek Jones, said, ‘For us the key advantage of this deal is the brand awareness; much of our high-street presence has been about raising awareness. The John Lewis customer base is very similar to the Kuoni customer base so having our brand associated with John Lewis gives us additional, significant visibility.’

Commenting on the long-term future of the John Lewis-based Kuoni stores, Jones said, ‘The plan is to create a long-term partnership. After 12 months we will take a decision on the future expansion of the stores. There are still some gaps in our own shop portfolio and we may plug those gaps with John Lewis concession stores. There is a commitment for more than one year.’