Barrhead Travel has revealed a reinvestment of over £500,000 into their retail network, technology and training as they prepare for further growth during 2020.
During 2019, the Glasgow-headquartered agency added an Edinburgh-based branch to their portfolio and invested a six-figure sum in upgrading existing stores through refurbishments and store expansions.
Aberdeen, Livingston and their sales support hub in Oswald Street have all underwent refurbishment in the last 12 months further upgrades planned across their network during the last quarter of the year. The agency also unveiled a brand-new experiential area in their Glasgow Superstore, partnering with Universal Orlando Resort to create a Holiday Booking Lounge, complete with Virtual Reality stations and selfie-area. The lounge is the only one of its kind in the UK.
Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel said:
“As a business we entered 2019 in a strong position, mile-stoning our best ever week of sales to date. To continue our momentum of success, we established key areas to future-proof our business through reinvestment. This year we focused on our core foundations; bricks and mortar, technology, and most importantly, our people.
“Bricks and mortar is still at the forefront of our growth strategy as we believe that when it comes to booking your well-earned holiday, there is no substitute for having the option to speak face-to-face with a genuine expert. We are dedicated to investing in the high street however we must remain innovative to stay competitive. We do this by integrating audio-visual technology into our customer journey to create a multidimensional retail experience.”
Dobson continued that general technology and website upgrades have also been high on 2019’s investment agenda and have recently appointed a Head of E-Commerce to help drive this growth.
“Our investment in technology was imperative to move in time with the ever-changing marketplace. It is important to us to give our customers, and our colleagues, the most up-to-date digital offering for longstanding returns.
Half of the investment figure quoted has been dedicated to people development and training as the agency reveals that over £250,000 has been allocated to upskill and nurture their workforce.
In addition to industry knowledge and skill-based learning, a number of external training initiatives have been implemented including first aid, fire training and mental health qualification courses. The agency’s partnership with Glasgow Clyde College continues the length of 2019 to equip management with a ‘first line management’ qualification with the Chartered Management Institute.
“It is important to upskill individuals so that they can not only excel in their current role but bring additional value to the business through external experience. I firmly believe that we should never stop learning and it is amazing that we can offer such varied and valuable training opportunities to our team.
“We recognise that our most valuable asset is our people, going forward we are committed to continued investment in training, well-being and personal development.”
Barrhead Travel is also currently hiring for the newly-created position of Head of People Development who will spearhead their online Talent Management Programme, due to launch next month.