Gamechanger deal: Thomas Cook’s 555 shops to be bought by Hays

Galtero Lara
Octubre 10, 2019

It has been reported that Hays Travel has agreed a deal to buy all 555 Thomas Cook stores in the UK.

There is fresh hope that Melton's Thomas Cook travel shop could yet reopen after news this morning (Wednesday) that Hays Travel plans to buy all of the company's 555 stores across the UK.

Jim Tucker, a KPMG partner who was appointed joint special manager of Thomas Cook's retail division after the failure, said: "This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement".

"It provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees and secures the future of retail sites up and down the United Kingdom high street".

"In the last two weeks we have already employed or offered jobs to around 600 former Thomas Cook colleagues, and it has been a very emotional experience for them".

John Hays opened the first branch of the eponymous travel company at the back of his mother's childrenswear shop in Seaham, County Durham, in 1980.

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Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority this week concluded the biggest-ever peacetime repatriation of British people, which saw the government charter over 700 flights to bring the holidaymakers home.

Hays Travel, which you may have heard of but probably haven't as our reader stats suggest you're 30 years too young to be hanging around in package holiday shops weighing up 11-day cruise options, has come to the rescue of Thomas Cook.

More than 100 people worked for Thomas Cook at its 23 stores in Northern Ireland.

"We will now move swiftly to gather more details about the deal and are seeking an urgent meeting with Hays about the part our union can play in supporting what will be a significant expansion for them across our high streets". In February, it rose from 91st to 74th place.

The acquisition will be a boost to the high street, where bricks-and-mortar retailers have found it increasingly hard to compete with their online counterparts.

Employers including Next, Tui and the NHS were all at the event - former Thomas Cook staff could also receive information on their next steps after the business folded, and find out about benefits they may be entitled to.

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