Hays Travel store in Gosport closes less than a month after opening

A TRAVEL agents that celebrated its opening last month has been forced to close its doors.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 3:25 pm
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 9:27 am

Hays Travel in Gosport High Street opened on Sunday, November 9, after the company stepped in to keep the former Thomas Cook employees in a job.

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Ex-Thomas Cook employees delighted as Hays Travel steps in to preserve their job...

But following an inspection by a regional manager, the store was deemed unfit for purpose as the walls of the store are rotting away.

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From left, Kirstie Meades-Marshall, Zoe Munroe and Emma Jenkins. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Fortunately, the three staff members that had been employed are not searching for another job, as they have been transferred to other stores.

Assistant manager Emma Jenkins said: ‘Last Thursday we had a visit from our regional manager, who told us there was a lot of work that needed to be done on the store, but it would cost too much to carry out.

‘From that the decision had been made to close the store with immediate effect, even though we were the best performing ex-Thomas Cook store in the area.

‘We were told that the walls were rotting at the front and back of the store, and there was no fire wall between us and the shop next door – it just didn't make sense to go ahead with the work.’

The Hays Travel store, formerly Thomas Cook, opened on November 9. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

A second Hays Travel store can be found practically across the road in the high street.

But apparently this second store had no bearing on the decision to close the other.

‘In Fareham it’s the same situation,’ Emma said.

‘Here, one store is four doors down from the other. Both stores in Gosport were doing really well, it was purely down to the condition of the store.’

While staff are disappointed that their successful new start has ended this way, they are relieved to have kept positions in the company.

Emma Jenkins and Kirstie Meades-Marshall have moved to Fareham, while Zoe Munroe has started at the other Gosport store.

Emma said: ‘We were absolutely gutted because we had put so much effort into making the new store a success.

‘But the company has treated us all very well and we’re glad to still be doing the job we love.’