Peacocks sold – but 3,100 jobs are axed
MORE than 3,000 staff – including 16 in Huddersfield – are to lose their jobs with the sale of the embattled Peacocks fashion chain.
The store at the Piazza Centre in Huddersfield and another at King Street in Brighouse are among 224 Peacocks outlets to close “with immediate effect” following the sale of the business to rival retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
Edinburgh, which has stores in Holmfirth and Batley and is one of the UK’s largest UK retail chains, has bought the Peacocks brand, 388 stores and concessions as well as the business’ headquarters and distribution centre in Wales. The deal safeguards about 6,000 jobs in the UK.
But the 224 stores excluded from the deal will close straight away, resulting in 3,100 redundancies.
About 16 jobs will go at Peacocks’ Cardiff headquarters.
Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at accountancy firm KPMG, said the sale ensured the continued trading of a well-known name on the high street.
He said: “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.
“However, a strong brand presence and loyal customer following meant that Peacocks attracted a great deal of interest from both trade and private equity bidders, leading to a successful sale.