Shearings’ parent group in administration
The Specialist Leisure Group, SLG, which owns Shearings, National Holidays, Wallace Arnold Travel Shops and several hotel groupings has been placed into administration.
The group had made headlines early in the pandemic by refusing to refund deposits as it suspended its holidays and laid off drivers. Now, SLG has announced it’s administration, during which insolvency practitioners will attempt to sell the group in whole or part as an ongoing business, or businesses, and potentially liquidate the assets should buyers not be found.
Bus and Coach Buyer believes that as many as 2,400 staff may be involved in SLG, though it has not itself placed a figure on the total. There were 44 hotels in the group, with three brands.
The Shearings companies hold more than 300 operating discs. though the exact size of the fleet is not known at present. In 2016, it ran 240 vehicles. National Holidays has a further 130 discs. In its last filed accounts, ending 2018, SLG recorded a £3m operating loss.
SLG’s coach holiday customers’ monies were secured with the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s Bonded Coach Holidays scheme, to which SLG is directing customers who had sent deposits and payments for holidays.
CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler said: “This is a sad day for all those involved with Shearings and the wider coach tourism industry, our immediate thoughts are with those employees who now face an uncertain future. Today’s events show the need for the Government to urgently step in and provide support to the wider coach tourism industry, during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been lacking to date.
“Customers who have booked coach package tours with Shearings are protected by the Government-approved consumer protection scheme Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH). They will be contacted by the administrator who will inform them of how to make a claim.
“All coach operators providing coach package tours must have full consumer protection in place to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations 2018, which means that customers can have confidence that their money is safe.”