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John Hays founder of hays travel

Hays Travel agency swoops for Thomas Cook’s UK retail estate

Sunderland-headquartered Hays Travel has agreed to buy more than 550 former Thomas Cook stores across the UK, securing the jobs of a "significant number" of the collapsed holiday giant's retail staff.

Hays Travel is among the UK's largest independent travel agencies. It also runs Hays Travel Independence Group and Just Go Travel, which trades under the Hays Travel brand predominantly across the North West of England.

Founder John Hays a Freeman of the City and Sunderland Ambassador has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook personnel since the appointment of the official receiver as liquidator to Thomas Cook last month.

"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," said official receiver, David Chapman.

"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, added: "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."