Abta chair Alistair Rowland hopes many of the vacant Thomas Cook shops to be taken on within “the next couple of weeks”.
Speaking during a session on Thomas Cook at the Abta Travel Convention in Tokyo, Rowland, who is group general manager for Midcounties Co-operative Travel, confirmed his company was among those “chasing” Thomas Cook retail premises.
He referenced a shop in Stoke which is “rentalised” at £11,000 a year, but is currently being bid at £24,000.
“Of all the shops that all of the multiples, including us, are chasing – and that’s most of them – there are at least three bids for most of them.
“The trick will be getting those deals away very quickly, so we can keep the teams together and back in the shop and trading.
“That should all take place very quickly in the next couple of weeks.”
Rowland went on to state his belief that Abta could work to clarify the collection of customer cash.
“For many companies, [Thomas Cook] was the failure of an accredited body… it was a first.”
He added: “There is a problem generally with a bit of over-collection. Strong agent groups get used to the fact they shouldn’t be using that [customer] cash but it’s in their facility so that will help them corporately.
“What we should make is absolute clarity on when collection takes place and when that money is handed over. And in that time what is protected in those funds.”