Hays Travel to close 89 shops
The travel agent said 388 staff affected by the closures would be offered ‘alternative work options’ to minimise redundancies.
The travel firm, which bought Thomas Cook when it collapsed in 2019, is closing the stores following a review.
Options for staff include working from home or filling vacancies in other shops.
Dame Irene Hays, owner and chair of Hays Travel, said: “It was always our intention to review the performance of our shops at the end of the licence period – we had hoped the business would bounce back in January and it has not.
“We have done everything we could to safeguard jobs and the business thus far, and we have come up with a range of options for those at risk of redundancy to help as many colleagues as we can.”
Hays Travel currently operates 535 shops and employs 7,700 people. The company has yet to confirm which of its locations will be affected.
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), said: “Today’s announcement of 89 Hays Travel shop closures is a sad but inevitable move. With coronavirus rampant and the usual January booking of summer holidays absent, the travel trade continues to suffer.
“The coronavirus has fundamentally changed our way of life and our ability to travel, but the government has been reckless in its failure to act. We should have had border restrictions and effective test, track and trace implemented last spring when the virus levels could have been controlled.
“We are witnessing the death of our loved ones, the death of the high street, and chronic mismanagement of our economy by this Conservative government. Lives and livelihoods are being lost every day while Tory cronies line their pockets with government contracts. The government must be held responsible for this shameful record.”
The Hays Travel announcement came as the government mulled over plans to force UK arrivals to stay in quarantine hotels.