THE Co-operative Group's Travelcare business has purchased the three-branch Atkins Travel chain for an undisclosed sum.
The operation has outlets in three towns on the south of England ? Weymouth, Lymington and Ringwood ? and employs 19 staff, all of whom are being transferred to Travelcare.
Amanda Williams, Travelcare's General Manager, commented: `Atkins Travel is a well-established travel business and the acquisition is in line with our strategic aim of strengthening our retail network in areas where we are geographically under-represented.
`We remain in the market for businesses like Atkins Travel, which have a sound customer base, a good local reputation and potential for expansion.`
The deal does not affect tour operator Prestige Holidays, part of a travel business which included Atkins Travel.
John Dixon, Prestige Holidays' Managing Director, said: `We feel our three shops will have a far better future in the hands of Travelcare, both for the staff and for the business. However we will continue to develop our tour operations and group travel departments.
`I would like to pay tribute to the hard work, loyalty and professionalism of all our retail staff and wish them well with Travelcare.`
Work will commence shortly on rebranding the shops with Travelcare's identity.