In March 2013, Thomas Cook announced that it was forming a new digital advisory board to help identify “the leading-edge trends for online businesses”, including a number of its own senior leadership team. That initiative, says Skift, failed through a lack of cash and too many internal disputes.

The company failed completely last month; and this article charts the signs of trouble that were around for many years, including the lack of cohesion between its online and physical retail businesses, a legacy “decades old” IT system, reliance on management consultants, cutting back the business through sales without replacing it with anything else, strong competition across the sector, changing regulation, and never recovering fully from the merger with MyTravel in 2007.

It concludes that a smaller retail footprint, less debt, a more exclusive product, and a better online platform could have saved the business.

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