Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Thomas Cook jobs saved as Hays Travel swoops on 555 stores

All 555 Thomas Cook stores are being bought by rival Hays Travel All 555 Thomas Cook stores are being bought by rival Hays Travel
Russell Knight | 10 October, 2019, 04:28

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.

The 178-year-old Thomas Cook folded on September 23 after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal.

The UK's largest independent travel agent, Hays Travel has agreed to acquire the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG.

"The location where Thomas Cook is based is an important one for our high street and I would very much welcome the store being re-opened and back in use".

The travel company, which will nearly quadruple in size following the deal, said it has already hired 421 former Thomas Cook employees following the appointment of the official receiver last month.

Since then a number of airlines have announced vacancies for former Thomas Cook workers.

In the county, Thomas Cook had shops in Poulton Street, Kirkham; Birley Street Blackpool; Marton Asda; Fishergate Preston; Victoria Road, Cleveleys; Clifton Street, Lytham; and at the Burlington Centre, St Annes.

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"It is a game-changer for us, nearly trebling the number of shops we have and doubling our workforce - and for the industry, which will get to keep some of its most talented people", said founder John Hays.

Since then the business has grown to more than 190 travel shops across the United Kingdom, employing about 1,900 staff with a turnover of more than £1bn a year ago.

"We are looking to employ as many Thomas Cook staff as possible and we are reaching out to them", said Mr Hays.

Some airports even held job fairs, with hundreds of former Thomas Cook staff turning up to Manchester Airport last week for a recruitment event.

He added: "We are pleased to have achieved this in a short timeframe and in the context of a complex liquidation process, which is testament to a lot of hard work from a number of parties".

Hays Travel is one of the top 100 mid-size United Kingdom firms to work for, according to a Sunday Times listing.

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