From the FT today:
With Mr Weihagen working round the clock to secure a second £100m rescue loan from banks, Thomas Cook’s travails also highlight the damage that the internet is inflicting on proud brands whose business models have changed little since the days of steam power and stovepipe hats.
And from The Guardian on Tuesday:
Here’s a startling fact about Thomas Cook: in September 2007, the company had cash of £394m. Today it finds itself begging its banks for an extra £100m to add to a debt that was about £900m in September this year and could reach £1.5bn by the end of December as seasonal outflows hit. What happened?
The rise and rise of budget airlines and the growth of Expedia and other online travel agents didn’t help, as is well known.
Given the undoubted accuracy of that final sentence, it’s somewhat surprising that Thomas Cook has survived in the High Street until today. Unfortunately it may not for much longer as technology and a total revision of the travel industry’s business model takes hold.
Travel websites like Opodo and Booking.com have seen phenomenal growth in the UK as opposed to a decline in people using High Street estate travel agents.