Mixed news on future of store jobs

The Peacocks store in Hartlepool
The Peacocks store in Hartlepool

EIGHT people have lost their jobs at a Peterlee clothing store – while staff at a sister store in Hartlepool have been told their posts are secure.

Staff at Peacocks, in Yoden Way, Peterlee, were among workers at 224 stores nationwide to lose their jobs when they closed suddenly last night.

The high street chain fell into administration last month. But joint administrators KPMG announced yesterday that 388 stores throughout the country had been sold to Edinburgh Woolen Mill.

Hartlepool’s Peacocks store, in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, survived but the Peterlee branch was one of those not included in the sale.

Staff at the Peterlee shop were only told about the closure yesterday and declined to comment when contacted by the Hartlepool Mail.

A spokeswoman for KPMG said the sale to Edinburgh Woolen Mill has saved around 6,000 jobs in the UK, but resulted in 3,100 redundancies, including 16 at Peacocks’ headquarters in Cardiff.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said while it is unfortunate redundancies had to be made, the administrators are pleased to have secured the majority of businesses and jobs.

He said: “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 the successful sale.”