Hays Travel to shut almost 100 shops as lockdowns continue to bite

Nearly a hundred high street stores are set to close by Hays Travel as part of a “consolidation” of its UK retail business.

The third national lockdown has forced the company, as a major tour operator, to suspend flights and vacations.

Hays Travel is slated to close 89 stores after breaking the rule about stores acquired over a year ago from the failing Thomas Cook.

This affects 388 employees who are offered alternative work.

Jonathon Woodall, Chief Operating Officer, said dtg: “Our first priority is to continue serving our customers and we provide the highest standard of customer service through our retail, telephone and online businesses.

“We are continuing our robust two-year business plan and we remain ready for the rebound when it comes to that.”

Dame Irene Hays, Owner and President of Hays Travel added, “We always intended to review the performance of our stores at the end of the license period. We were hoping business would recover in January and it is not.

“So far we’ve done everything we can to keep jobs and business safe, and we’ve developed a number of options for those at risk of redundancy to help as many colleagues as possible.”

Among other things, employees are given the opportunity to join the homework department at Hays Travel, to work from home or to take on positions in other shops where there is a vacancy.

Last summer, Hays announced that up to 878 jobs would be cut as the pandemic devastated the travel industry.

Hays surprised many in October 2019 when he acquired all of Thomas Cook’s 555 travel agencies across the UK after the 178-year-old company went out of business.

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