Leading UK travel agent Hays Travel could secure hundreds of jobs lost at Thomas Cook’s High Street outlets after agreeing to buy its entire retail estate of 550 stores across the UK.
Thomas Cook, who had 5 retail branches across Stockport in Bramhall, Cheadle, Marple, Hazel Grove and at Merseyway, ceased trading on Monday 23rd September.
Sunderland based Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook personnel and have further offers outstanding to former employees. The arrangement could secure the jobs of 2,500 of its former staff
The announcement came from the Government’s Insolvency service as the Official Receiver and Special Managers from KPMG said that an agreement has been reached with Hays Travel Limited to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK retail estate.
Hays Travel is the country’s largest independent travel agent. The company also runs the Hays Travel Independence Group, a consortium of independent travel agents, in addition to operating a subsidiary business, Just Go Travel, which trades under the Hays Travel brand predominantly across the North West of England.
David Chapman, Official Receiver, said:
“I am pleased to announce we have reached an agreement with Hays Travel to acquire Thomas Cook’s entire UK retail estate, comprising 555 stores across the country. This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company’s assets.”
Jim Tucker, Partner at KPMG and Joint Special Manager of Thomas Cook’s Retail division, 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 UK high street. We are pleased to have achieved this in a short time frame and in the context of a complex liquidation process, which is testament to a lot of hard work from a number of parties.
“Over the weeks ahead, we will work closely with Hays Travel and landlords to ensure a smooth transition of the store estate.”
John and Irene Hays, Managing Director and Group Chair of Hays Travel Limited, said:
“Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand employing talented people. We look forward to working with many of them.”
Image: Jan Hagelskamp1 [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]