Virgin’s venture off to flying start

Virgin Travel has opened an outlet at the Tesco store in Marton.'The Virgin team, L-R: Kerry Woodworth, Retail Sales Manager James Bailey, Lucy Messina and Abi Laird.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'9-9-2011

Virgin Travel has opened an outlet at the Tesco store in Marton.'The Virgin team, L-R: Kerry Woodworth, Retail Sales Manager James Bailey, Lucy Messina and Abi Laird. PIC BY ROB LOCK'9-9-2011

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SUPERMARKET shoppers can now pick up a bunch of bananas and a trip to the Big Apple at the same time.

Travel firm Virgin Holidays has opened its first major concession in the North in Blackpool’s Clifton Road Tesco store.

It marks the start of a huge shop-opening strategy in the region for the holiday brand, a part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

And interest in the new venture has been high since it opened last weekend with a glitzy Las-Vegas-themed event.

Retail Sales manager James Bailey said: “A new store opening is positive for the area, and we are wanting to paint the town red with the glamourous Virgin brand.

“We’ve already had a lot of interest and that’s down to the Virgin and Tesco brands.

“A lot of people passing us in the supermarket are coming in and leaving inquiries – we think it’s going to be very successful.”

The concession at the rear of the store is a long-term one, with Virgin determined to use the Blackpool opening as a springboard to further success in the North West.

Normally found in House of Fraser or Debenhams, the holiday firm has now decided to target grocery shoppers with its long-haul and European holidays.

Mr Bailey added: “Tesco has a similar structure to us so it was an easy choice to come here really.

“Business is guaranteed here due to the massive amount of footfall within the store.

“But we don’t wait for customers to come to us - that’s not what we do; we get the brand out there and it’s an established one as well - that’s somewhere else that we share in common with Tesco.

“I think this is going to be a very successful venture for us and we’re delighted to be in Blackpool.”