Former Thomas Cook shop in Kettering set to re-open tomorrow as Hays Travel

A shop in Kettering's town centre will be launching as Hays Travel tomorrow (Saturday) just four weeks after former occupiers Thomas Cook ceased trading.

Friday, 18th October 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Friday, 18th October 2019, 5:16 pm
Former Thomas Cook employees have all got their jobs back with Hays Travel. From left to right, Becky, Amy, Elizabeth, Chloe, and Tim

The remarkable turnaround has come as a shock to the employees too, who were all looking for work elsewhere when Hays Travel announced they had bought all 555 Thomas Cook shops on October 9.

Stores in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough were closed down overnight on September 23 but all have now been bought by Hays Travel and will be re-opening soon.

Elizabeth O'Neill, who works at the branch in Lower Street, said: "We heard in the news, that's how we heard about it.

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"It's been a very, very quick turnaround."

Elizabeth is joined at the Kettering store by colleagues Chloe Moscow, Amy Krause, Becky Deacon and Tim Furnell, who have all kept their jobs

"They have bought all 550 plus stores, and they haven't just bought the stores, they wanted to hire us back.

"They said give us a call. It was a really easy process, there was about 10 questions and then they said they'd send us our contract," said Amy.

Across three former Thomas Cook stores in the area, only three members of staff are not returning to the new Hays Travel shops.

Chloe said: "We all had interviews and we have all cancelled them. We're back with the family."

Amy had temp work for two weeks and said by the end of it, she was desperate to get back to her work in travel.

They are all over the moon to have been able to get back to their jobs so quickly after Hays Travel bought the stores.

Kettering's new Hays Travel shop opened on Wednesday and will officially launch tomorrow.

Becky said the shop had a lot of loyal customers and their staff had built up a relationship with them, especially Tim who has worked in travel for 45 years.

Becky said: "Customers come in asking for Tim."

Between them, the Kettering team have 74 years of experience and hope this will help with their new venture as a Hays Travel shop.

They said customers will have a lot more choice because they will be able to choose suppliers, where as Thomas Cook shops only sold Thomas Cook holidays.

Chloe said: "We can tailor make it to whatever the customer wants now."

The team said Hays Travel have been really supportive and they are looking forward to getting up and running tomorrow, they gave special mention to Hays Travel owners John and Irene Hays.

Liz added: "My main thing to get out to get out to customers is we would love to see our previous customers as well as new customers. We are there to help them.

Becky said: "They come in for our customer service, we always put our customers at the heart and we are going to continue to do so."