The company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, will be opening a store in the market place of Durham city centre later this month in a move which will create seven new jobs, marking the firm’s second site in the County Durham area.
Founded in 1962 when it opened its first branch in Ashington, the firm has established its place in the region’s travel market company with 22 branches in total across the North East and Yorkshire.
Sales and marketing director Chris Harrison said: “We’re delighted to be opening a branch of Dawson and Sanderson in such a prime retail location in the heart of Durham city centre.
“When the opportunity arose to take on this site, we knew it would be the ideal spot for us in a central, busy location.
“We have more than half a century of experience in providing holidays for every customer, and we look forward to introducing our services to shoppers in Durham city.
“We have no immediate plans to open further branches, but we’re always on the lookout for the right opportunities.”
Last year, the company was bucking the UK trend to trade 3% up year on year, despite the national picture reflecting a fall in holiday bookings by 8% and the rest of the region showing a drop between 7 and 8%. The workforce was also strengthened by the addition of 10 new apprentices.
Harrison said: “We’re an independent company offering a plethora of holiday choice. Whereas many of our competitors sell you the offer above the door we tailor-make a holiday that’s right for the customer. We’re also half a century in the business and that goes a long way towards customer confidence.”
The 300-strong firm, which has branches which stretch from Northumberland down to Hull and Doncaster and across to Carlisle, also aimed to grow its market by expanding further into the lucrative overseas weddings and honeymoons market, through the creation of a new service which uses the internet to bring customers into its high-street branches.
Its new online service Giftmyhoneymoon is designed so family and friends can donate online towards a couple’s wedding abroad or their honeymoon rather than the traditional wedding gift list.
The Durham opening comes after Dawson and Sanderson’s success at the Agent Achievement Awards (AAA) earlier this year, where the company won Travel Agent of the Year – North East and Yorkshire, and managing director Chris Pattison won the title of Outstanding Contributor to the Travel Industry.
The arrival of the newest branch will be marked by two promotional events on September 14 and September 21, when Dawson and Sanderson will be offering £125 off thousands of summer 2014 family all-inclusive holidays, plus the chance to win flights to Dubai with Emirates.