Hays Travel plans to reopen all 555 Thomas Cook retail shops
across the U.K., with some stores expected to be back up and running as early
as this week.
The Sunderland, U.K.-based company said Wednesday it would
take over Thomas Cook's entire U.K. travel agency business.
Hays Travel co-owners John and Irene Hays provided further
details on the deal at a press conference, confirming that the reopened Thomas
Cook outlets would operate under the Hays brand. As part of the transaction,
Hays Travel has purchased each store's existing lease and will acquire all
The company also said it would do an assessment of the
reopened stores, particularly in markets where there might be overlap with
existing Hays Travel outposts. However, Hays Travel expects to keep the vast
majority of the former Thomas Cook stores open.
The acquisition would grow Hays Travel's retail footprint
from 190 stores to a total of 745.