Economy

Thousands of jobs saved by the buyout of UK's Thomas Cook stores

Thousands of jobs saved by the buyout of UK's Thomas Cook stores

Nearly a tenth of the 555 former Thomas Cook shops, which were snapped up by Hays this week, are within 100m of the buyer's existing estate.

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

The latest move involves re-opening retail premises that will complement Hays Travel's own 190 shops across the UK.

"Our staff were devastated to hear about Thomas Cook and we all immediately felt we wanted to help".

Founder John Hays said: "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".

Hays Travel is a private company, jointly owned and managed by John Hays, managing director, and Irene Hays, chair of the Hays Travel Group.

Meanwhile, MPs will grill Thomas Cook's former bosses next week over its collapse last month.

However, a ray of light has been shone in the wake of the devastation, as Hays Travel has announced that it has purchased all 555 of the Thomas Cook stores, thereby saving thousands of jobs.

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"The situation with Thomas Cook has accelerated those plans".

This may affect the Halifax and Brighouse shops, as they already have shops in the towns. "This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company's assets".

It said it had already employed 597 members of Thomas Cook staff since the travel group went out of business last month.

"Here at the new Hays Travel Bangor branch we are very sad over the recent collapse of Thomas Cook, the news has hit us particularly hard as we all worked at the Thomas Cook Bangor store", it said.

Jim Tucker, partner at KPMG and joint special manager of Thomas Cook's retail division, added: "This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement".

Irene Hays, the chairwoman of Hays Travel, rubbished a claim by Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary, that the number of people booking flights and hotels online meant the package holiday industry was "screwed".

In total, around 600,000 customers were left stranded following the collapse of the 178 year-old company less than three weeks ago, including around 140,000 who had been due to return to Germany.


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