Hays Travel will buy all Thomas Cook's British travel agent shops, potentially saving up to 2,500 jobs, Britain's insolvency agency said on Wednesday, in a rare reprieve for high streets across the country.

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel company whose shops have been a feature of British town centers for generations, collapsed last month, and its UK business went into liquidation.

Hays Travel will acquire all 555 stores and look to re-employ former employees from Thomas Cook's retail operations, Britain's Insolvency Service said in a statement.

"This agreement [...] provides re-employment opportunities for a significant number of former Thomas Cook employees, and secures the future of retail sites up and down the UK high street," Jim Tucker, Partner at KPMG, said.

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