Travel agency group Helloworld has agreed to buy up to 10 New Zealand retail travel stores from Air New Zealand ahead of launching its brand there in 2016.
Helloworld already operates 90 stores in NZ evenly split between the Harvey World Travel and United Travel brands.
The company has tried but failed to re-brand them all Helloworld outlets after United Travel franchisees voted earlier this year not to adopt the new branding.
Helloworld’s NZ CEO Greig Leighton was quoted in Travel Bulletin as saying that the HWT agents were keen to re-brand however at that time the company decided not proceed.
Uncertainty still remains over how many stores will feature Helloworld branding when the brand is introduced to NZ.
CEO Elizabeth Gaines made no mention of what was happening with United Travel or Harvey World outlets in today’s announcement.
Instead she said the new stores will “assist in building the critical mass from which to launch the helloworld brand in New Zealand.”
“The opportunity to transition to a unified helloworld brand will deliver a consolidated share of voice for our agents, as well as economies of scale for the business.”
Update 29/9/15: Greig Leighton provided the following edited statement this morning:
“We are working with all current franchisees from the Harvey World Travel and United networks on the launch of helloworld.
“We have the full support of the HWT franchisees to the re-branding and launch and are continuing our discussions with each United franchisee on a case-by-case basis.”