Former rival’s acquisition could save 2,500 jobs
The BBC among others reports that all 555 Thomas Cook shops are to be bought by rival Hays Travel in a move that could save up to 2,500 jobs.
The Sunderland-based independent travel agent is buying the shops from the Official Receiver, who was appointed when Thomas Cook collapsed last month. It plans to reopen the shops under its own brand with immediate effect.
Hays has already offered jobs to 600 of Thomas Cook’s staff and plans to hire more as part of its rapid expansion. The move is a significant step for Hays, which has 190 shops across the UK at the moment. Founder, John Hays, who set up the company 40 years ago, said: “It is a game-changer for us, almost 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”. Details of the valuation have not been made public so far.
Hays Travel already have 1900 staff and £379m turnover
John and his wife Irene, who is Chair of the company, own the business which has 1,900 staff and last year had sales of £379m, reporting profits of £10m.
Irene Hays said: “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry. We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had — not least its people — and that will put us in even better stead for the future”.
Not sure if I would be taking the risk of investing in this business model right now, but at least it will keep a few high streets from losing one more store! Thanks to both Jaime and Peter for tipping me off on this breaking news.