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Thomas Cook to axe 2,500 jobs
Two more large retailers with outlets in South West Hertfordshire may have to close stores after falling into financial difficulties.
Holiday giant Thomas Cook, which has stores in Rickmansworth and St Albans, announced on Wednesday it is considering cutting 2,500 jobs and closing 195 stores.
The firm is now on a 90-day consultation process where it will consider a range of options including making cuts to staff at head offices in Peterborough and Preston and closing an office in Accrington all together.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland’s CEO, said: "It is never easy to make decisions that impact directly on our people.
"It is essential that we operate with the right number of people as we move forward into the next era for our company, allowing us to meet the future needs of our customers more effectively."
Bed retailer Dreams, which has a unit on Watford’s Colne Valley Retail Park, has been bought by Sun European Partners just a day after slipping into administration.
The investment company bought 171 stores, leaving 95 still at risk. It is understood these stores will continue to trade while a buyer is sought.
Alan Hudson, from Dreams' administrators Ernst and Young, said: "High Street retailers have faced unprecedented conditions over recent years and the market for higher value discretionary purchases has been particularly tough.
"Dreams is a well-known market leader, but in common with many others has suffered as a result of this depressed retail environment, a rapid expansion of its store portfolio and onerous lease liabilities."
The two are the latest retailer to hit trouble in recent months after phoptography chain Jessops, HMV and Blockbusters all announced they were closing stores in the area.