United Kingdom travel firm Hays to buy stores from defunct Thomas Cook

United Kingdom travel firm Hays to buy stores from defunct Thomas Cook

The official receiver added Wednesday that Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff.

In a move that will provide employment opportunities for up to 2,500 Thomas Cook (TCG.L) employees who lost their jobs, Hays Travel will buy all of the failed travel operator's shops in the United Kingdom for an undisclosed sum. They must have some lovely senior staff meetings over tea and biscuits in the conservatory.

Independent travel agent Hays Travel has said it will buy 555 stores from Thomas Cook after the holiday company collapsed late last month. Might as well, seeing as they'll have the keys and know the passwords etc.

Irene Hays, chair of Sunderland-based Hays, said: "Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the United Kingdom and the global travel industry".

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

Thomas Cook had a store in Inglis Street.

There were 9,000 staff in the United Kingdom who lost out when the company collapsed last month - prompting the country's biggest peacetime repatriation exercise to recover more than 150,000 holidaymakers stranded overseas.

"This is an extremely positive outcome, and we are delighted to have secured this agreement", said Jim Tucker, a KPMG partner.

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Mr Tucker said the administrators would work with Hays to "ensure a smooth transition of the store estate".

Hays said more than 100 of the new jobs would be based at its Sunderland headquarters, with the rest in shops across the UK.

"Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people". "We want to continue to build the company's reputation for first-class service and being a great place to work and develop a career".

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.

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 previous year.

John Hays, who set up the the company 40 years ago, 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".

"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".

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