Kuoni has announced a new partnership with John Lewis that will see new travel concessions opened in four of the retailer’s stores this autumn, and more will open in the future. The first of these was opened on 15 October in Southampton, and this was followed with a second opening just yesterday (22 October) at John Lewis Oxford Street. The final two will be opened on 29 October in Reading and 5 November in Cardiff.
The concessions will range between 444sq feet and 821sq feet in size, which will combine the feel and look of the two brands with Kuoni fittings and John Lewis furniture. The locations will create 19 new full-time jobs and offer Kunoi’s full range of holidays. Customers will be able to find the concessions in the customer service area next to the Gift List departments in John Lewis. The company is using interactive technology – like plasma screens and iPads – to bring its holidays to life.
John Lewis Travel Insurance will also be introduced to customers by Kuoni. It will also become the retailer’s Gift List travel partner, which will allow customers to ask their wedding guests to contribute to their honeymoon.
Kuoni managing director Derek Jones says that they are thrilled about this partnership. They and John Lewis have much in common, sharing the same approach to business that puts customer service at the centre of all they do. They also share a very similar base of customers. They know their customers value the expert knowledge they provide. Their successful High Street locations show that the best way to really understand consumers’ needs is to spend time with them in the right surroundings – face-to-face. These concessions will allow Kuoni to bring their unique travel approach to John Lewis stores.
John Lewis director of commercial operations Sean Allam says that they have a strong base of customers in their travel insurance services already. Opening travel concessions in their stores feels like a natural fit. People will now be able to talk to a personal travel expert while they shop or have coffee. This will give them a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere to choose their holiday. Kuoni’s expert advice and commitment to customer service is a perfect fit for John Lewis. They believe this will be a successful, long-term partnership. Their customers want the personal expertise and knowledge of speaking to someone who can help them choose exactly what they want from a holiday.
Kuoni was founded in Switzerland in 1906 by Alfred Kuoni, an explorer and visionary adventurer for his time. He opened some of the first travel agencies in Europe. Now Kuoni operates in more than 40 countries and recently opened 21 new stores throughout the UK that offer a new experience in travel retail. These new locations offer a new experience with complimentary champagne and stylish décor.
This announcement comes after Kuoni was honoured with Best Tour Operator of the Year and Best Travel Team Agency of the Year at the 2012 TTG Travel Awards. It also follows the company revealing that it will be disposing of smaller, unprofitable tour operators in countries like Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Russia.