249 jobs to go at Peacocks head office

 

The administrators of Peacocks have made 249 head office staff redundant in the first job losses since the clothing retailer collapsed.

KPMG said it would keep on the remaining 266 employees at the Cardiff offices and continue to run Peacocks' 563 stores and 48 concessions as it seeks a buyer for the business.

Peacocks and its parent company The Peacock Group collapsed into administration yesterday, placing some 9,600 jobs in jeopardy.

Bonmarche, also owned by The Peacock Group, which employs 3,800 staff and operates some 394 stores, has not yet entered administration but filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators on Monday.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator at KPMG, said: "It is with regret we have made 249 redundancies at Peacocks' head office in Cardiff, which follow a commercial review of the staffing levels of the business."

The administration of Peacocks is the biggest retail failure since the collapse of Woolworths in December 2008, which left 27,000 employees out of work.

Today's announcement came on the same day that budget fashion rival Primark, owned by Associated British Foods, said total sales at its 232 stores across Europe were up 16% in the 16 weeks to January 7 in what it described as an "exceptional performance".

Peacocks also reported strong trading over the Christmas period, with like-for-like sales up 17%, helped by a collaboration with singer-turned-fashion designer Pearl Lowe.

But the company, owned by hedge funds Och-Ziff and Perry Capital, has suffered as its profit margins came under pressure from the frenzy of discounts on the high street being offered by retailers desperate to drum up trade.

Administrators said yesterday that Peacocks' collapse was caused by consumers tightening their belts, while a surplus of stores and high overheads had led to the business becoming "financially unviable in its current form".

Peacocks can trace its history back to Warrington, in Cheshire, in 1884 when Albert Frank Peacock founded Peacock's Penny Bazaar. In 1940, his son, Harold, moved the business to its current base in Cardiff.

The business developed and expanded in the 1990s, floating on the London Stock Exchange in 1999. The Peacock Group acquired low-cost retailer Bonmarche in 2002.

The company delisted from the Stock Exchange to once again become a privately owned business in 2006 and broke the 500 stores mark in 2008.

KPMG has overseen the administration of several retail firms in recent weeks, including outdoor retailer Blacks Leisure, gift retailer Past Times and lingerie firm La Senza.

Today, insolvency specialist Begbies Traynor revealed a 26% rise in retailers reporting that they were critically distressed in the final quarter of 2011 and warned that more collapses were to come with small regional players most at risk.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor