Hays Travel to close 89 former Thomas Cook stores, and redeploy 388 staff

Hays Travel is closing 89 shops as part of a planned consolidation of its UK retail estate. It is offering options for alternative work to 388 staff affected in the hopes of reducing redundancies.

The company had deferred reviewing the performance of the former Thomas Cook shops it acquired in October 2019 to see if business returned in 2021. However the third national lockdown and travel ban leading to major holiday operators suspending flights and holidays meant the company had to act.

Jonathon Woodall, Chief Operating Officer, said the company would begin consulting with 388 retail staff on potential options to reduce the number of redundancies. "Our first priority is to continue to look after our customers and we offer the highest standards of customer service through our retail, phone and online divisions. We are continuing with our robust two-year business plan and continue to be ready for the bounce back when it comes."

Among other options, staff will be offered the chance to join the Hays Travel Homeworking Division, to work from home, or take positions in other shops where there is a vacancy.

Hays Travel currently operates 535 shops and employs 7,700 people.