Stranraer branch of Peacocks saved

THE Peacocks store in Stranraer has been saved, along with the jobs of 10 staff. KPMG, the admistrator for Peacocks, confirmed yesterday the shop will be saved, but the Dumfries outlet was axed after the clothing chain was sold to The Edinburgh Woollen Mill on Wednesday.

The news was welcomed by Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown, who said: “I’m pleased that the Stranraer store is staying open and I know it will come as a huge relief to staff and customers there.

“But, on the side of the region, the news that the Dumfries store is to close is a bitter disappointment. It’s a really tough time for the employees and their families, as they are losing their jobs in a period of an unemployment crisis in Dumfries. It’s another blow to the high street and once again we have a big store in the centre of town that is going to be lying empty.”

Stranraer and North Rhins Councillor Iain Dick said: “I am absolutely delighted that the new owners have managed to retain a presence in Stranraer and salvage 10 jobs.”

The new owner will retain 388 stores and concessions, as well as the business headquarters and logistics functions in Wales. The deal has protected around 6000 jobs in the UK.

Unfortunately the remaining 224 stores were not included in the sale and have ceased trading with immediate effect, resulting in 3100 redundancies. There will also be approximately 16 redundancies at the headquarters in Cardiff.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring part- ner at KPMG, said: “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 we have been able to preserve the majority of the jobs.

“Peacocks suffered from a decline in consumer spending and this, combined with a surplus of stores and unsustainable capital structure led to the business becoming unviable. However, a strong brand presence and loyal customer base meant Peacocks attracted a great deal of interest from trade and private equity bidders, leading to the successful sale. I would take this opportunity to thank the management team and staff for their continued assistance in very difficult circumstances; their support has been invaluable in securing today’s sale.”

Galloway MSP Alex Fergusson said:“This is good news indeed, especially in a week that has seen the end of QuinetiQ’s stewardship of West Freugh result in seven redundancies from the base. It is great news for the employees at Peacocks and great news for the company itself, which now has an opportunity to regroup, recover and prepare for a positive future. I warmly congratulate all those involved in this recovery package, and wish the company and its employees every success for the future.”