Peacocks to stay open

Peacocks ps1203-21
Peacocks ps1203-21

THERE was good news for Bridlington’s shoppers this week as Peacocks on Chapel Street was saved from closure.

Administrators KPMG confirmed the struggling Peacocks chain had finally been sold to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill clothing retailer after weeks of uncertainty.

Although the Bridlington store is safe, the same cannot be said for 224 of the chain’s 612 stores across the UK which were not included in the sale.

The closure of these stores has resulted in the loss of 3,100 jobs from the Welsh based chain, though for the remaining 6,000 Peacocks staff, the sale will offer at least some job security.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, commented: “Today’s deal ensures the continued trading of a well known name on the high street. While it is unfortunate that redundancies have been necessary, we are pleased that we have been able to preserve the majority of the business and jobs.

“Like many other retailers, Peacocks suffered from a decline in consumer spending due to the tough economic conditions and this, combined with a surplus of stores and unsustainable capital structure led to the business becoming financially unviable.”

The Peacocks group, which also owned the Yorkshire based Bonmarche chain until last month, entered administration in January after failing to reach a deal on restructuring its multi-million pound debts with the banks.

Last month KPMG announced the sale of Bonmarche to the private equity group Sun Capital Partners in a deal which would secure the firm’s future but lead to around 1,400 redundancies and the closure of 160 of its stores.

However like Peacocks, Bridlington’s Bonmarche store was saved from closure.

Bridllington Mayor Cyril Marsburg, said: “I’m absolutely delighted about Peacocks staying open, I’m officially opening a shop on King Street this week, it’s great to see companies showing some faith in Bridlington’s high street.

“I do think however that if rents were reduced for businesses in the town, it would further improve the situation for retailers.”