Europe: European managed vacation rental business Awaze has announced the forthcoming closure of its James Villas brand as it focuses on the future growth of its core portfolio.
The brand, which offered around 600 guaranteed villas across Europe, officially ceased taking bookings today [30 October], according to a company statement.
Approximately 40 James Villas roles are at risk of redundancy as a result of the closure and those impacted are being consulted.
Meanwhile, a consultation will also take place regarding the proposed closure of the brand’s Maidstone office in Kent.
Awaze CEO Henrik Kjellberg, who was a headline speaker at the recent STRz Summit, said: “Our focus at Awaze is to sell holiday homes that we manage exclusively on behalf of our owners. With our integration plans behind a common platform far advanced for our combined European inventory, we have decided to cease trading with James Villas as that model relied on guaranteed inventory.
“James Villas core inventory represents less than one per cent of our total supply. We will work hard to ensure we minimise the impact on our employees, suppliers and customers.
“We remain committed to keep growing our supply base behind a model that is flexible and winning in the marketplace,” he added.
All existing James Villas customers are being contacted this week about their bookings.
Those with bookings that return on or before 30 November will be unaffected by the closure and their breaks will go ahead as planned. Customers whose bookings are cancelled after that date will be given a full refund and the option to book another Awaze Group property.
Villa owners impacted will be contacted this week, while employees at, and customers of, other Awaze brands remain unaffected by the closure.
The Awaze portfolio of brands, which includes Hoseasons, NOVASOL and Cottages.com, features more than 100,000 properties across the UK and Europe. In recent years, Awaze also completed the acquisition of a number of holiday and cottage rental firms, such as Amberley House [UK], Portscatho Holidays [UK], Bornholmtours [Denmark], Quality Cottages and Quality Unearthed [UK].