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Hays Travel Buys Thomas Cook Shops

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Hays Travel Buys Thomas Cook Shops

Old 9th Oct 2019, 12:12
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Hays Travel Buys Thomas Cook Shops

Good news for some of TC's former employees.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49985369
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 18:28
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Interesting

Interesting article. It mentioned an "undisclosed sum" for the purchase price. Also mentioned the need to negotiate with landlords. Made me wonder...

What is a bankrupt business worth if it's conducted in office space it doesn't own? Its only assets might be computers and furniture. With a name change, any "Thomas Cook goodwill" goes away. One could hire the ex-employees w/o buying the defunct business...

I don't have a dog in the fight, but just curious what makes business people tick. After 40 years in the business I'd think he'd want to sell, not expand.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 18:56
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Don't want to come across too cynical but the reality this isn't what is being reported. It will end in further disruption to the whole holiday business and does somewhat impact upon our industry the aviation side.

Any set set of people who have a firm belief that there may be a future in high street travel suppliers do need a reality check.

My feeling is that this will end up in a bad place for many. Right at this moment there will be many hoping and relieved that they have a future in working in an environment of sitting down across a desk and booking a package holiday are not veining realistic in there views. The writing is on the wall. Holidays are and will be met by the use of the internet, which is what we are on right now.

Why Hay would make a move like this is difficult to understand. In truth I hope that the people who may regain employment will look to try and move to a position that may provide some security as its unlikely that this set of high street providers will continue without major future problems.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 19:10
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Folks who start their own company - and are still running it 40 years later - think they are doing it right. Also, to be fair, the Cook shops DID bring in a lot of revenue that the Board of directors managed to flush down the drain. However, in the longer term, Hays should be focusing on managing decline.

I recall when British Telecom was privatised (I was in the telecomms world but always worked on the customer side) and they have done better than I expected but they set out thinking they could become a world champion and that is not what has happened.

I am glad for the Cook staff and I just hope that Hays have given consideration to the integration of their computer and telecommunication systems and how much TIME and expertise as well as money that will take. Who owns the physical terminal computer is zero by comparison to getting them online to the owner, reporting business and enabling it to be managed.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 19:25
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A lot if comment by guys who have done little, if anything, themselves, instant experts.

Give Hays some credit, they have expanded their business enormously, starting from almost nothing , AND its THEIR money they are putting up.

I, for one, wish them every success.

Last edited by RetiredBA/BY; 9th Oct 2019 at 19:49.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 20:08
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Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY View Post
A lot if comment by guys who have done little, if anything, themselves, instant experts.

Give Hays some credit, they have expanded their business enormously, starting from almost nothing , AND its THEIR money they are putting up.

I, for one, wish them every success.
Hear hear. Exactly my thoughts....
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 20:24
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Originally Posted by LTCTerry View Post
Interesting article. It mentioned an "undisclosed sum" for the purchase price. Also mentioned the need to negotiate with landlords. Made me wonder...

What is a bankrupt business worth if it's conducted in office space it doesn't own? Its only assets might be computers and furniture. With a name change, any "Thomas Cook goodwill" goes away. One could hire the ex-employees w/o buying the defunct business...

I don't have a dog in the fight, but just curious what makes business people tick. After 40 years in the business I'd think he'd want to sell, not expand.
Leases in themselves can have a value depending on the location.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 20:50
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I have no particular relevant expertise but it looks like an interesting move. With the dwindling numbers of big name high street travel companies, it may also be a shrewd move if it takes advantage of the limited retail competition in the short- to medium-term and is part of a longer-term strategy which may see a withdrawal if the only money to be made, ultimately, is through online sales. Whatever, while I don't know what liabilities the company has, it's quite impressive to deliver around 2% profit on turnover in the travel business (and on a quite respectable turnover, at that) as they seemed to do last year. Presumably, to still be in business and profitable after 40 years, the Hays' choose their product carefully and offer something that their customers want, if they can do this in locations in which they currently have no presence they may do well, especially if they are able to negotiate good deals on leases etc. Time will tell - but I wish the Hays and their employees, both old and new, well.

Interesting also to see that the shops will be rebranded. Does this mean that the Thomas Cook brand is already so toxic it's better to bury it quickly?
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 21:49
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Originally Posted by filejw View Post
Leases in themselves can have a value depending on the location.
One time maybe. Retail high street in today's climate, unlikely. I understand that they have been given a 6 month licence on the shops, which is a very basic type of tenancy and gives them the ability to walk away if they can't agree terms with the Landlord. I'm assuming that some property consultancy is going to be very busy with Mike Ashley style rent negotiations. ie reduce the rent or we will walk away.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 05:27
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Ideal candidate for a small in-house airline maybe ?
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 06:18
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Any set set of people who have a firm belief that there may be a future in high street travel suppliers do need a reality check.
I went past Virgin holidays in a shopping centre last Sunday morning and folk were queing out of the door to book their holidays. The travel agent is not dead. I doubt Hays would have made the decision to take up TC shops lightly. Remember it was the debt that killed them.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 07:34
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TC debt was incurred not in the daily operation of an airline, nor in the shops. Their management knew the score with these. Both, at least, broke even.

What they also had was a huge borrowing from buying up, over the years, all the contributing businesses, travel and aviation. I believe that Airtours was especially expensive, likewise Condor. The focus of the Germany-based management was principally to get one up on Tui. All this money had to be paid back somehow, and with limited returns from shops and airline, it wasn't, and just ballooned.

In the USA you do Chapter 11, write off the loans, and the business continues. Didn't happen here. The fact that the loans were generally in Britain but a number of the travel operations were in Germany, Scandinavia added to it all. The "losses" quoted were after that year's repayment and interest charges on all the loans, not indicative of the trading position.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 12:18
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@Paxboy has one thing dead right: integration of computer systems is vital.

I wouldn't be as sure as some people that internet booking means the end of f2f travel agents. I've booked it all myself, and I've used travel agents: I've been royally shafted by an allegedly top-end agent, who was just a fast-talking sales monster, and I've gladly paid a bit over the minimum for good service from a competent travel agent. Many people still like to have a travel agent they trust and can talk things over with.

There is a lot more to a commercial concern than what shows up in a balance sheet. Truly, it is the knowledge and networking of staff, the established channels of communication and trust, that enable a lot of business.

Probably personal travel agents will become a bit niche, and will need to work with online sales, rather than simply in opposition to them, but it's not beyond the wit of good managers to make that happen. As for this case, who knows?
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 17:02
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Originally Posted by FlightlessParrot View Post
Truly, it is the knowledge and networking of staff, the established channels of communication and trust, that enable a lot of business.
Although a slightly different line of travel than Thomas Cook it seems that Trailfinders have been doing fairly well by virtue of their staff arranging customised journeys out of high street shops.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 23:15
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Trailfinders do offer a premium and semi bespoke product. I guess there are far better margins there than a week in Torremolinos.
I would also suspect their clientele have a few more quid to splash out on their holiday than the bucket and spade brigade.
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 02:58
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I worked in Telecommunications and IT for 27 years. I was in another well known High Street name when they were integrating (or not) systems from companies they had bought. These purchaes were conventional and had plenty of time for examination beforehand. I hope all goes well but British mgmt usually does not understand IT.
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