First Choice hits high streets with Sandpiper

UK holiday giant First Choice has hired Sandpiper Communications to launch a high street chain of shops offering a new brand of travel service.

UK holiday giant First Choice has hired Sandpiper Communications to

launch a high street chain of shops offering a new brand of travel

service.



Work started this week on the consumer brief and fees are expected to be

at least pounds 100,000. The account was won after a three-way pitch

against the Grayling Group and the Media Foundry.



The move comes as First Choice merges with Swiss holiday firm Kuoni to

form one of the largest pan-European travel firms. The merged company is

to be called Kuoni Holdings.



First Choice, which currently does not have an own brand high street

presence, has kept details of its new retail offering under wraps. Since

October last year the company has bought 60 shops and has gone into

partnerships with two regional travel chains. The name of the new shops

will be Travel Choice. The first store is scheduled to open in May.

First Choice will open 50 retail outlets throughout May and June and

then another 100 will be rolled out throughout the year.



Sandpiper Communications managing director Pippa Sands said: ’Our brief

is to provide a very strong local launch as each outlet opens, reflect

the difference of what will be the new offering and really draw people

in.’



Last year the company reviewed its PR and hired BGB and Associates to

handle core brand First Choice, direct sell operation Eclipse and

upmarket company Sovereign.



Hudson Sandler handles the company’s corporate and financial PR. Kuoni

employed Gavin Anderson to handle its merger PR.



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