John and Irene Hays continued their good news tour de force on Friday with a cheery appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Friday morning (11 October)
The Hays were hailed “heroes of the high street” by presenters Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard (video above) after the couple acquired all 555 former Thomas Cook stores on Wednesday (9 October).
Hays has already reopened more than 20 former Cook stores and reemployed more than 1,200 former Cook staff.
“It’s been just amazing,” Irene said. “Not only have have the British public gone into those places where we opened the first shops yesterday and cuddled the staff, but the coffee shops around thought ‘they might not have a kettle and coffee yet’ – let’s make sure they are looked after.
“I was running back to our head office yesterday and this woman jumped in front of me and said: ‘You’re Irene Hays and I saw you on the telly!’"
Insisting they would never be a corporate company, the couple spoke about their plans to take the former Thomas Cook shops forward.
“The difference with us and most high street travel agents is we embrace the internet,” said John.
"Two-thirds of our customers have engaged with us digitally before they book in-store, via social media or the website. So our staff actually like digital.”
Their appearance also included a snippet from a former Cook employee thanking John and Irene for stepping in.
Good Morning Britain airs daily on ITV1 from 6am.