Hastings former Thomas Cook shop reopens

Staff at the reopened former Thomas Cook branch in Hastings, which is now part of Hays Travel SUS-191016-150510001
Staff at the reopened former Thomas Cook branch in Hastings, which is now part of Hays Travel SUS-191016-150510001

The former Thomas Cook branch in Hastings town centre reopened today (Wednesday, October 16) under new owners.

The shop was closed suddenly after the holiday company collapsed last month.

But the Queens Road branch was one of Thomas Cook’s fleet of 555 shops around the UK to be bought by holiday firm Hays Travel following Thomas Cook going bust.

Around 2,500 jobs were saved as a result of the buy-out.

Kirsty Clark, who was manager of the Hastings branch when it was under Thomas Cook, has reprised her role, together with most of her staff.

She said: “We found out about the closure of Thomas Cook on the news. I was absolutely shocked as we thought it would never happen.

“There were eight of us working at the store. I was previously with Going Places from 1998 until they merged with Thomas Cook.

“When we were bought by Hays Travel it was the best news ever for us. We found out via the news.

“It’s absolutely fantastic that we’re open again. I have 80 per cent of my staff back as well. One has worked at the shop for 33 years.

“I think we were one of the first stores to reopen. On Tuesday (October 15) wse came in to strip everything out that was Thomas Cook and get the store ready.

“We opened the doors in the afternoon and a few people came in.

“Customers were giving the thumbs-up to us outside the window. Regulars have said they will be coming back to book their next holiday.

Thomas Cook collapsed on September 23, which left 150,000 customers abroad and its 21,000 staff with no jobs.

The collapse was announced in the middle of the night after talks failed to achieve a deal.

In other news:

Hastings and Bexhill hospitals launching new main phone number.

Watch men joke about Hastings town centre stabbing which left victim with life-threatening injuries.

Vehicle pursued through Hastings crashes into fire engine responding to house fire.