There might be a reprieve for some Thomas Cook staff. UK firm Hays Travel says it will buy all of the collapsed chain’s retail stores – 555 in total. That could save up to 2,500 jobs. The move comes after Thomas Cook — the world’s oldest travel agency – declared bankruptcy last month. Its collapse stranded hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers. A huge repatriation programme for UK travelers has only just wound down. Hays is a 40-year old private company, with turnover of just over one billion pounds – about 1.2 billion dollars. The acquisition wiill see it almost treble in size in terms of the number of shops. On Wednesday (October 9) there was hope too for Thomas Cook workers in Germany. Talks over a rescue for its tour unit there are going well, according to the official liquidator.