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COLLAPSE


THOMAS COOK


Hays: We’re confident of gaining most Cook leases


Amie Keeley and Juliet Dennis


Hays Travel has appointed estate agent Savills to continue negotiations with landlords of the former Tomas Cook shops it has bought the leases to occupy. A total of 323 of the 555 shops had


been opened as Hays Travel stores as Travel Weekly went to press on Tuesday. Chair Irene Hays claimed the


agency had had a “fantastic response” from landlords and was confident the majority would consent to an assignment of the previous Tomas Cook lease or renegotiate a new lease. She clarified the terms of the


agreement, which gives Hays a licence to occupy all stores for the next nine months and an option to extend for a further three months. Hays has paid rents on all properties until December 24. Hays added: “Te landlords


are unable to withhold consent unreasonably. It would be a mater for the courts if they did.” Landlords that wished to lease


to another business during the 12 months would need to go to court and seek a forfeiture of the lease. Hays said the agency would


eventually review whether it wants to


John and Irene Hays with new team outside Hays Travel in Sunderland


Barrhead’s new recruits pursue up to nine shop leases


Former Tomas Cook bosses recruited as consultants by Barrhead Travel are close to signing leases on up to nine stores. Chris Motershead, Kathryn


Darbandi and Nicki Tempest- Mitchell have joined Barrhead parent Travel Leaders Group to lead a major expansion of the agency’s retail network. The hugely-experienced


industry trio have been taken on full-time on a consultancy basis to focus on expansion plans, said Mike Bat, founder and chairman of Travel Leaders Group. They will spend time at


2,072


Ex-Cook staff taken on by Hays Travel so far


keep all 555 stores, but believed the business had a “fabulous opportunity” with the likes of Jet2holidays and easyJet Holidays expanding their offering through the trade. She said high streets and shopping


centres had been “extremely helpful” in allowing temporary fascias to be put up, something which normally takes a long time to organise.


Barrhead’s head office in Scotland but work mainly from home. “Chris and the team are


A total of 2,072 former Cook staff,


including 11 regional managers, have so far been employed. Te level of recruitment has


led Hays, set to become the largest retail agency in the country, to more than double the size of its managers’ conference in Turkey next month. Tere are now 775 delegates due


to atend the November 12-16 event at the Rixos Premium Belek resort in Antalya, instead of 345. Tey will fly on four Jet2.com flights. Hays confirmed sponsors had been


asked to increase their contributions to reflect the larger numbers and would in turn receive “beter value”.


already working with the property agents and talking to lots of different landlords and there are a lot of properties to let,” Bat said. “We are close to signing a


single-digit number of stores and we have staff under training.” Last week, Travel Leaders


announced it was targeting 100 new stores, in spite of Hays Travel’s acquisition of the leases for all 555 ex-Tomas Cook shops. Bat said there was no reason


Barrhead could not exceed 100 additional shops. It currently runs 37 Barrhead Travel stores and 39 managed services outlets.


Bue-Said seeks way for operators to contact clients in a crisis Julia Lo Bue-Said 6 24 OCTOBER 2019


Te head of Te Advantage Travel Partnership is looking to set up an advisory group to decide how third-party suppliers can contact customers direct in an emergency. Chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said


wants to work with operators and agents to devise a system where


customers can be quickly contacted if a large company fails or if there is a catastrophe such as a terror atack or severe weather event. Her move follows dnata Travel


boss John Bevan’s call for third-party operators to have access to customer data in the event of a “catastrophe”.


He told delegates at Abta’s


Travel Convention it took over a week for dnata’s Travel 2 and Gold Medal brands to get the details of tens of thousands of customers who had booked through Tomas Cook as agents were afraid of operators contacting customers direct.


travelweekly.co.uk


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