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Gloucestershire Business News

Buyer found for Thomas Cook retail outlets with new owners set to reopen stores

The 555 shops that closed because of the collapse of Thomas Cook could be reopened after they were sold to a rival travel company.

When Thomas Cook collapsed at the end of September its stores immediately shut and the staff that served in them were all put out of work.

The travel group had stores in Cheltenham's High Street, Eastgate Street in Cirencester as well in Cirencester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.

But less than two weeks after they were seemingly shut for good, a possible rescue for the 2,500 employees across the country has been found.

Independent travel group Hays Travel have had a bid for the stores accepted by the official receiver.

Financial details of the purchase have not been disclosed although Sunderland-based Hays Travel said they will be looking to reopen stores, starting today.

Run by John and Irene Hays, the firm has already recruited more than 400 former Thomas Cook staff and said they were looking forward to welcoming the retail staff to the ranks.

In a statement, they said: "We are delighted that Hays Travel has been successful in acquiring all of the Thomas Cook shops in the UK meaning that we can now offer opportunities to more people.

"We have already recruited over 400 talented former Thomas Cook employees and we are ready to welcome many more of the retail branch staff.

"This news means that we can begin to re-open Thomas Cook stores, in their new Hays livery, from today. We aim to open as many as we logistically can as soon as possible.

"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.

"We know how devastating it must have been - many of you have shared your experiences with us and it has been an emotional time for all of us.

"In coming to Hays Travel you can be assured that we will be doing our utmost to build upon all that was good about the much-loved Thomas Cook brand.

"And we will share with you our own strong values and belief in our people as we work together to ensure a smooth transition for the whole of the business."

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