Thomas Cook was another Woolworths waiting to happen

So after 178 years of trading Thomas Cook has collapsed into insolvency. With debts of £1.7bn the insolvency of the business leaves 20,000 staff without a job and tens of thousands of customers unsure how to get back from their holidays, or uncertain if they will ever get their money back if they are still to travel.

Sad as the demise of a once great brand is surely the holiday industry has moved online, so all their high street shops along with an old fashion business model were doomed to die.

According to an article in Bisnow the high street landlords most exposed to Thomas Cook’s failure are British Land and amongst others the Church of England’s pension fund. Apparently Thomas Cook had a portfolio of 593 stores. Their immediate closures have left another big gap on the High Street. 

“The sooner local councils act to help landlords convert empty shops to other uses – residential would be our favourite,” says Zah Azeem, Partner at Scrivener Tibbatts, “the better. Woolworths, BHS and now Thomas Cook show that customers’ behaviours are changing. 

“The length of a company’s life is often an indicator of how good they are. Sadly in these three examples they also looked very old fashioned.”

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