Staff delight as former Thomas Cook branch re-opens in Eastbourne
The former Thomas Cook branch in Eastbourne town centre has re-opened under new owners.
The shop closed last month after the sudden collapse of the holiday company.
Hays Travel stepped in to buy all 555 vacated stores in the UK - with the Terminus Road branch opening for business on Monday (October 14).
Tania Barradas, store manager at the Terminus Road shop, was one of the reported 2,500 who recovered their jobs in the UK after being made redundant.
Tania said, “It has been such a shock for all of us. We are privileged to come back to our store.
“We found out about Thomas Cook at 2am in the news on the night they collapsed. We were just crying and hugging and felt like we needed to get to the customers. It was really devastating.”
Tania said being unemployed for two weeks was hard but said she was touched by the support of customers and the community.
She said, “We’ve had really nice comments from customers, they were hugging us and wishing us the best for the future.
“It is really nice to know the customers and community are supportive. We had a free breakfast cooked for us in Hailsham.”
Hays Travel bought the closed down stores around two weeks after the collapse on October 9, much to the delight of Tania and her colleagues.
Tania said, “It was a dream come true when Hays stepped in. It is a privilege to be back in our store, in the community, selling holidays and doing what we love doing.
“It is like a big family. We love our jobs and we love travel.
“We opened on Monday to meet and greet customers to say we are open. Regulars brought in cakes, chocolate, sweets, biscuits and wishing us luck.
“We would like to say to Hays travel, thank you for giving us the opportunity to do what we love.”
Tania, Lisa, Maria, Debbie, Becci and Jan are the six staff back working at the store and have over 100 years combined experience in the travel sector.