This is what has happened to Thomas Cook shop in Harrogate

Is James Street in Harrogate about to get a new shop is the question.
Is James Street in Harrogate about to get a new shop is the question.

The news that Hays Travel has bought all 555 of the shops Thomas Cook owns across Britain has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by many people, including Harrogate, not least by this famous brand's anxious staff.

But the situation in Harrogate does still remain unclear.

The sign on the window of the Thomas Cook shop in Harrogate last month saying it had closed.

The sign on the window of the Thomas Cook shop in Harrogate last month saying it had closed.

As of now, the Thomas Cook shop located in the prestigious shopping area of James Street is closed.

As our photograph taken today, Thursday shows the shop window actually has new signs up prominently saying the following: "The Harrogate Discount Store."

Whether this means discount holidays or discount goods, is the question we are searching an answer for.

Either way, anything which avoids another vacant retail unit on this important shopping street will probably be welcomed by those who care about the state of Harrogate.

Such are the worries about Harrogate shops, the BBC even featured Harrogate prominently at the weekend under the headline: "Harrogate: What happened when the shops left town,"

Written by BBC reporter Emma Simpson, the news item talked about how "cream teas, quaint streets and stylish shops have made Harrogate one of the most successful and popular shopping destinations in the north of England", then went on to list the closures and challenges facing the town's retail sector.

The article included interviews with Harrogate shop owners, including Robert Ogden of Ogden of Harrogate Jewellers, a leading member of shops pressure group Independent Harrogate which is calling for a better deal for town centre traders battling for future prosperity.

As for Thomas Cook's new owners, Hays Travel, the independent Sunderland-based firm already has a local branch on the High Street in Knaresborough.

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