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Who’re the household shopping for Thomas Cook dinner outlets?

John and Irene Hays of Hays Travel

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John and Irene Hays of Hays Journey have agreed to rescue 555 Thomas Cook dinner outlets

John Hays, founding father of the journey agency that’s rescuing Thomas Cook dinner’s Excessive Avenue outlets, is aware of a factor or two about survival.

Quickly after organising Hays Journey behind his Mum’s childrenswear store in 1980, a rival agency appeared.

Mr Hays was compelled to supply free journey insurance coverage to win clients – a transfer that just about sank the nascent agency.

However 40 years later, Hays Journey remains to be right here and increasing, shopping for shops shut down when Thomas Cook dinner collapsed.

The takeover by the Sunderland-based journey firm may doubtlessly save 2,500 jobs after Thomas Cook dinner went bust two weeks in the past.

It’ll doubtlessly greater than double Hays Journey’s employee-count, which presently stands at 1,900.

The deal is, no doubt, the largest within the historical past of Hays Journey, which started within the Nation Durham city of Seaham.

Mr Hays began the enterprise after finding out maths on the College of Oxford and finishing an MBA.

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Thomas Cook dinner collapsed two weeks in the past

It has sturdy household connections. His mom, Margaret, was a director till 1998 and different relations have been administrators on the journey company through the years.

His spouse, Irene, chairs the Sunderland-based enterprise and owns the controlling stake of 50.1%

‘Robust ask’

The free insurance coverage provide that just about sank Hays Journey in its early years ended up propelling its development. enabling it to open 10 shops by 1990.

It has expanded within the intervening years and now has 190 of its personal shops – earlier than taking up the 555 from Thomas Cook dinner.

Mr Hays, who’s managing director, acknowledges the deal shall be a problem.

“It’ll be a tricky ask nevertheless it’s very doable,” he says.

He stated he may succeed with the outlets the place Thomas Cook dinner failed as a result of Hays is an unbiased agent providing holidays from all operators.

Though Hays has a giant web and social media profile, he stated there was nonetheless a requirement for private service in outlets.

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Hays Journey

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Hays’ independence means it sells a spread of holidays corresponding to swimming with pigs within the Bahamas

“We’re fairly massive already, and have plenty of shopping for energy so our costs are aggressive,” he stated.

“We did not embark on this with out giving it very severe thought.”

In its final monetary 12 months, gross sales rose to £379m from £337.7m however pre-tax revenue development was flat at £10m.

Mr Hays stated: “We do have the administration and the capability to do that. It has been endorsed by the Civil Aviation Authority. They’ve authorized the plans that we have.”

Commenting on whether or not the corporate will retain all 555 Thomas Cook dinner outlets and its 2,500 workers, Mrs Hays stated: “At this time limit now we have no plans to shut any of these and what we need to do is go into these outlets and take a look at the chance. Categorically we’re not going to go in and say ‘that is completely a waste of time’.”

“Clearly we’re a business organisation, we’ll take a view. However as of at this time now we have no plans to try this in any respect.”


The family-run firm prides itself on the way it takes care of its workers.

They obtained a bonus final 12 months after the agency’s complete gross sales hit £1bn and tons of attended the agency’s annual summer season social gathering held within the backyard at Mr and Mrs Hays’ residence.

Because the rescue of Thomas Cook dinner’s Excessive Avenue shops was introduced, Mrs Hays stated the have an effect on of the corporate’s collapse on its workers was “a tragedy”.

“Thomas Cook dinner was a much-loved model and a pillar of the UK and the worldwide journey trade. We’ll construct on the nice issues Thomas Cook dinner had – not least its folks – and that may put us in even higher stead for the longer term.”

“We have stated many time earlier than that journey basically within the UK is a comparatively small trade and it is a household.”

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