400 jobs at risk as Thomas Cook announces shop closures

Thomas Cook is to close 50 high street shops Credit: Sebastian Kahnert/DPA/PA Images

Travel giant Thomas Cook is to close 50 high street shops, putting 400 jobs at risk, just weeks before Christmas.

The closures will affect Thomas Cook and Co-operative Travel branded stores and will take place between now and March 2018.

Thomas Cook, which has its UK headquarters in Peterborough, said that the affected stores are either in close proximity to other outlets or are located where a decline in footfall has impacted profitability.

A rise in online travel bookings was also flagged as a reason for the closures, with the group saying that just 47% holidays were booked in store this year while online sales in the UK grew by 27%.

Thomas Cook employs 22,000 people worldwide and had sales of £7.8 billion in 2016.