Thomas Cook returns to UK as online-only brand following dramatic collapse last year

Thomas Cook is returning to the UK as a pureplay online brand after its 600 hundred stores disappeared from the high street last year.

The 178-year-old British holiday tour retailer collapsed in dramatic fashion last September after failing to negotiate a £1.1 billion bailout, seeing its vast UK store estate close over night.

Thanks to a fresh £6 million investment from Chinese owner Fosun, which purchased the brand for £11 million following its collapse, Thomas Cook has relaunched in the UK online.

This week Thomas Cook began selling holidays via its newly launched website, despite the huge problems facing the holiday industry in the UK due to the coronavirus.

READ MORE: 600 Thomas Cook high street stores shut down amid company collapse

While the brand used to have its own planes, it will now use EasyJet for the majority of its flights and largely focus on holidays in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

It is understood that the brand is operating with just 50 staff, compared to the whopping 21,000 it employed prior to going under.

“At the heart of Thomas Cook were some fantastic people who really cared about their customers and who went the extra mile . . . even when they weren’t being paid,” Thomas Cook’s chief executive Alan French said.

“It’s that DNA we want to bring to life.

According to French, Thomas Cook is prepared to “ramp up pretty quickly” if it proves successful here in the UK, aiming to launch in the Netherlands and Belgium next.

He added that Fosun has provided the brand with a “huge amount of firepower” to help it grow outside of China, where it began selling domestic holidays in July.

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