The acquisition of Thomas Cook by Hays Travel is potentially great news for high streets, one shaft of sunlight to pierce the clouds hanging over town centres.
The deal is a sign of faith from Hays, which recently broke through the £1bn revenues barrier, that consumers still value what bricks-and-mortar can offer.
Some will question whether that faith is justified. To take on 555 shops in the present climate as high streets suffer might almost seem foolhardy.
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