THIRTEEN staff at Stranraer’s Peacocks clothing store face an uncertain future this week after it was announced the company had called in administrators.
The town’s store is one of almost 700 threatened with closure following the collapse of salvage talks with various banks and when RBS walked out on negotitions.
Spokespeople for the store’s HQ in Cardiff were guarded in their response when the Gazette contacted them on Thursday, and said they couldn’t give any information regarding specific stores but that 10,000 jobs were on the line. The spokeswoman said that employees nationwide were being kept in the loop and that specific stores would be told yesterday (Thursday) of their fate.
The value fashion chain filed a notice to appoint administrators KMPG on Tuesday with debts of about £240m but a rescue deal was frantically tabled by chief executive Richard Kirk in a bid to save the company.
Now it is hoped that a slimmed-down company will be sold as a going concern but with the inevitable loss of some jobs.
Once a notice to appoint administrators is filed, there are 10 days for a buyer to be found before the administrators take over. If final talks fail, the sinking of the company will be the biggest in UK retail since the demise of Woolworths in 2008 – another big name pulled from Stranraer.
Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “Like many retailers, Peacocks has suffered from tough economic conditions, which have seen its customers reduce their spending on the high street.
“This factor, combined with a surplus of stores and high overheads, led to the business becoming financially unviable in its current form.”
Joint administrator Richard Fleming added: “We are actively seeking a buyer for the 611 stores and 49 concessions and encourage interested parties to get in touch.”
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