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Topic: Important info re: Thomas cook

  1. #31
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    I think you're right, TF. Their acquisitions policy (and the debt it accrued) seems to have been the big weight they could never survive, so much of the blame lies at the door of those in charge in the mid-late 2000s. Mind you, there must still have been some serious mis-management subsequently, so no-one on the senior management side of things comes out looking very good

    But here IS some good news - Hays Travel has bought ALL the former TC high street shops, and looks set to re-hire a lot of former TC staff! Here's the TravelMole story:

    Published on Wednesday, October 9, 2019
    Hays Travel buys all 555 Thomas Cook shops

    Hays Travel is to buy 555 former Thomas Cook stores around the UK for an undisclosed sum.

    A statement this morning from the Insolvency Service said this will mean job opportunities for a 'significant' number of former Thomas Cook's retail staff.

    Hays Travel has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and has made further job offers to former employees.

    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."

    Bids had been quick to come in for the leases of the vacant shops from companies including Barrhead and Midcounties Co-operative Travel.

    Some of those companies had complained that the process was dragging on but it seems a bigger deal was being negotiated for the entire retail network.

    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."

    The Insolvency Service said it was not, at this stage, revealing the price paid by Hays for Thomas Cook's retail estate. The purchase doesn't include the Thomas Cook name. A spokesman said other buyers were being sought for the brand.

  2. #32
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    I read that Simon but i seriously have to wonder why they have done that, having high street stores was just a small part of Thomas Cooks problems. In a time when less and less people are booking package trips and all the on line stuff for booking holidays people have been turning away from shops for some years. In my area of North London where we had around a dozen high street travel agent shops in a 4 mile radius 10 years ago now we have none. This is great for the staff and i'm so pleased for people who thought they had lost their jobs but i really wonder of even the short term viabilty of this.

  3. #33
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    Yes, that remains the unanswered question, SS - why does Hays Travel think it can buck the trend and be successful with so many extra retail shops? I think there's still a place for them (and, interestingly, another Travel Mole story today highlighted the fact that 51% of Brits still book a package holiday), if they have the right emphasis and user-friendliness. But it's going to be interesting to see how they fare.

  4. #34
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    That has certainly been the trend over the last few years, but I read recently that there has been a turn back towards Travel Agents as they are perceived as giving an added service. But I guess time will tell.
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  5. #35
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    Hays isn't stopping there and have announced plans to recruit another 1500 people including an apprentice at every one of their 737 stores. I really wish these guys the best of luck and as they say, they are not tied to promote one particular brand which should really help them. I must admit i don't do package holidays but the Jet2.com advert with their music is a fantastic advert that has almost made me go book a package trip to the Canaries next March with them But i decided to stick with going it alone but it was close, an infectious advert.

    Hays Travel, which bought Thomas Cook after it collapsed, has announced plans to hire an extra 1,500 staff.

    The travel agent has already taken on 2,330 former Thomas Cook employees.

    But now Hays plans to hire another 200 people at its head office in Sunderland, an extra 500 to handle foreign exchange, and an apprentice at each of its 737 branches.

    The move has been seen as a vote of confidence in the package holiday market.

    Hays took on all of Thomas Cook's 555 shops in October after the travel agent spectacularly collapsed earlier this year.


    Since then it has reopened 450 of those stores and hired a lot of its old staff.

    But now it is expanding further.

    John Hays, who runs the travel agent with his wife Irene, said: "We're further increasing staffing to ensure we have the highest customer service levels across all of our stores and our head office functions."

    He said applicants didn't need experience in the sector "just an enthusiasm for travel".

    The hiring spree will take Hays' workforce to 5,700 people.

    "The former Thomas Cook managers have said the biggest difference for them is being empowered and valued - as an independent travel agent they are not tied to certain products or scripts and they feel trusted," Mr Hays said.

    "This is a key principle of our business."

    It is the latest sign of renewed confidence in the package holiday business.

    Earlier this week, EasyJet announced plans to relaunch its own package holiday operation in a bid to fill the gap in the market left by Thomas Cook.

    About 20 million people fly with EasyJet to Europe annually but only 500,000 book accommodation through it.

  6. #36
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    Very good to see, SS. Hopefully it will go really well for them. A large part of the UK market still seems dedicated to package holidays, so this could well have a good future for all concerned (and not such top-heavy management!).

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