Hays Travel opens new branch in Sunderland's Bridges shopping centre after takeover of Thomas Cook sites
The owners of Hays Travel are toasting the opening of yet another new branch – but this one has as special significance to the team.
Hays has now thrown open the doors of a new shop in Sunderland’s Bridges shopping centre, after taking over 555 units which were previously owned by Thomas Cook.
Four jobs have been created by the opening of this site – and two previous Thomas Cook staff who were based at the store have become re-employed there.
Andy Bradley, centre director at the Bridges, is one of those welcoming the shop’s opening.
He said: “It’s brilliant news for former Thomas Cook stores up and down the UK, but it’s particularly brilliant for Sunderland because Hays Travel is such a huge part of the local economy.
“It’s a massive Sunderland success story which has been – deservedly – recognised across the country for saving jobs and supporting the high street.
“Given its track record, there’s no doubt at all that Hays Travel will continue to flourish and we are delighted that we are able to welcome them into the Bridges.”
Thousands of people were left out of work when Thomas Cook crashed into administration last month – but more than 1,500 of the company’s former employees are now back in work thanks to the intervention of Hays.
Of the 555 ex-Thomas Cook sites acquired by the independent travel company in a deal last week, 138 of them are already open and accepting bookings from keen holidaymakers.
Jane Schumm, retail and training director at Hays Travel, paid tribute to the firm’s team for their hard work and added: “We’re absolutely delighted that the ex-Thomas Cook shop at the Bridges is one of the first to re-open as Hays Travel.
“Sunderland shops will always be extra special for us.”