It's a topsy-turvy world for travel agents at the moment.
Pop in, and you'll find "pods" for Virgin Holidays, Virgin Holidays Cruises and Virgin Holiday+HIP Hotels, with eager staff waiting to help you spend. In addition, there's an "Experience Area" where you can browse holidays on an iPad, attached to a video wall. The two-storey shop also contains a "holiday window" (which makes us hope for some Play School activity) and a kids' area.
Virgin expects the store to be profitable within six months.
Managing Director Amanda Wills describes the shop as "the kind of unforgettable customer experience that people expect of [Virgin]."
"Our customers tell us that buying their holiday forms an integral part of the whole holiday experience and they love to do it face to face.”
We’re just not sure about that. We can’t remember the last time we booked a holiday in an actual travel agency, rather than online. Actually, we can. It was 1999; and we were at uni. Perhaps we're wrong? When did you last book a holiday on the High Street?
Virgin Holidays is at 202A High Street Kensington, London, W8 7RG and opens to customers today.