UK: Edinburgh Woollen Mill buys Peacocks
Scottish retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill has won the race to buy collapsed UK discount fashion retailer Peacocks, it was revealed today (22 February), with the sale protecting 6,000 jobs but also leading to more than 3,100 redundancies.
The deal sees Edinburgh Woollen Mill acquire 388 Peacocks stores and concessions as well as the businesses' headquarters and logistics functions in Wales. But some 224 stores will close, and a further 16 people are set to lose their jobs at the headquarters in Cardiff.
"Today's deal ensures the continued trading of a well known name on the high street," said KPMG restructuring partner and joint administrator Chris Laverty.
"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 today's successful sale."
Peacocks fell into administration in mid-January after talks to restructure its GBP240m worth of debts failed. Some 249 people were made redundant at the time.
Bonmarche, which was also owned by the Peacock Group, was sold to private-equity firm Sun European Partners.
Edinburgh Woollen Mills acquired Jane Norman in the middle of last year after the UK retailer fell into administration.
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