A high street fashion retailer is making a return to Huddersfield – just over a year after it shut down.
The Peacocks store at the Piazza Shopping Centre closed its doors with the loss of 16 jobs in February 2012 when the business was sold by administrators to rival retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill that month.
In total, more than 3,000 staff lost their jobs with the closure of 224 Peacocks outlets, which also included one at Brighouse. But the acquisition – which covered 388 stores and concessions as well as Peacocks’ headquarters and distribution centre in Wales – safeguarded another 6,000 jobs.
Now Edinburgh Woollen Mill will open a new Peacocks store this Thursday at Victoria Lane – just a few feet from the original store premises, which are now occupied by discounter Poundworld. Twelve jobs have been created with the move into the premises at 18 Victoria Lane, previously occupied by Internacionale.
A spokeswoman for the Cardiff-based company said: “Peacocks is moving forward fast and the Huddersfield store is one of the first of a whole wave of new store launches for 2014.
“Peacocks is set to open 50 new stores on the high street this year, including stores in Liverpool, Birmingham, Southampton and Middlesbrough.
“The store is bright and fresh with a buzzing atmosphere and gorgeous collections merchandised to show off the brand new spring range. The store opening has also created 12 jobs, a mix of full and part-time roles.”
She added: We want to open stores where we used to have a presence. We once had a successful business in Huddersfield, but unfortunately we had to leave. Now the Huddersfield store one of the first to open this year.”
The original Peacocks business collapsed into administration after profit margins took a hammering as the chain sought to compete in tough trading conditions by slashing prices.
Huddersfield-based fashion chain Bon Marché, which was part of the Peacock Group, was sold to private equity firm Sun European Partnersin a deal that led to 1,400 job losses and 160 store closures, but saved some 2,400 jobs and safeguarded Bon Marché’s headquarters and distribution centre at Grange Moor.
Albert Frank Peacock founded Peacocks Penny Bazaar in 1884 in Warrington, Cheshire. In 1940, his son, Harold, moved the business to its current home in Cardiff.
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