Hays Travel buy 555 Thomas Cook stores saving hundreds of jobs

Hays Travel has agreed a deal to buy all 555 Thomas Cook stores in the UK, saying its expansion could lead to 2,500 jobs being saved.

Hays, the country’s largest independent travel agent, said it had already taken on 494 ex-Thomas Cook employees and job offers were pending for many more.

About 9,000 staff in the UK lost out when the company collapsed last week- prompting the country’s biggest peacetime repatriation exercise to recover more than 150,000 holidaymakers stranded abroad

The news will be seen as a lift for the UK’s high streets as a crisis of consumer confidence combines with surging costs to hurt store-focused retailers.

It currently operates from 190 shops and employs 1,900 staff in the UK.

Irene Hays, group chair of Hays Travel Limited, 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.

“We all share a passion for the travel industry and 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.”

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