Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Barrhead Travel announces plans for 100 new stores

Barrhead Travel announces plans for 100 new stores

The news that Hays Travel has bought all 555 of the shops Thomas Cook owns across Britain has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by many people, including Harrogate, not least by this famous brand's anxious staff.

Hays has already recruited 595 former Thomas Cook staff and managing director John Hays said he will welcome "as many as possible".

The company, which describes itself as Britain's largest independent travel agent, was founded four decades ago and had sales of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.2 billion) past year, directly employing 1 900 people.

A note to customers left by staff at Thomas Cook in Galashiels after its closure.


Mr. Hays, who owns the business with wife Irene, 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".

"We look forward to working with many of them", said the independent travel agent's founders in a statement. Hays struck the deal for its shops with a court-appointed official receiver and special managers from KPMG.

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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As of now, the Thomas Cook shop located in the prestigious shopping area of James Street is closed. "This represents an important step in the liquidation process, as we seek to realise the company's assets".

We are very grateful to all our Hays Travel colleagues who have worked their socks off to help make this happen over the last two weeks.

Jim Tucker, partner at administrator KPMG, also added that the Hays deal "provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees, and secures the future of retail sites up and down the United Kingdom high street".

Now, a buyout by rivals Hays Travel has thrown them a lifeline.

In this photo taken on 12 July 2019, a sign is pictured at a branch of a Thomas Cook travel agent's shop in London.

The 178-year-old travel company folded on Monday, September 23, after failing to secure a rescue deal.

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