Hays Travel acquired all 555 former Thomas Cook shops across the UK, including 22 high street shops across Northern Ireland, 20 of which have opened their doors already.
Hays Travel has acquired the entire retail portfolio of over 555 former Thomas Cook shops in the UK after it signed a deal with the Official Receiver and Special Managers at KPMG on the 9th October 2019.
The company hopes to take on as many of the 2,500 former Thomas Cook retail employees as possible in the coming weeks, doubling its workforce. In Northern Ireland, 79 members of staff have been recruited so far with a further 50 jobs still to be filled.
Nicola Allison (Regional Sales Manager for Northern Ireland) said: “I am utterly delighted. It is an amazing thing that John and Irene have done for us – it’s a lifeline. I worked for Thomas Cook for 24 years but when I visited the Hays Travel Head Office in Sunderland it became clear that I have moved from one travel family to another. Our staff have really put their heart and soul into this and we are so excited to be welcoming customers old and new back into our stores!”
Irene Hays (Owner and Chair of the Hays Travel Group) 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.”
John Hays (Owner and Managing Director) said: “I’m very proud of the fantastic team who have helped me build Hays Travel over almost 40 years and they have worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to bring this about. 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. We are delighted to have a presence in Northern Ireland for the first time. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all of us and we can’t wait to come over and meet everyone soon!”
The 40-year-old Sunderland-based company reached sales of more than £1bn in 2018 and celebrated by sharing £1m with its 1900 employees, who each received £100 for every year they’d worked there. Hays Travel has been included in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For for several years, and is currently the Investors in People UK’s Best Large Company for Apprenticeships.
Hays Travel is a private company, jointly owned and managed by John Hays, Managing Director, and Irene Hays, Chair of the Hays Travel Group.