Peacocks asks bankers for wriggle room on debts

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The Independent Online

Peacocks, the discount clothing retailer, is in talks with banks over refinancing its debt.

The company, which put off an £800m refinancing deal at the end of last year due to the turmoil in the debt markets, is looking again at a restructuring.

The move comes as the fiercely competitive clothing sector continues to feel the pinch of waning consumer confidence and turbulent economic conditions, which are driving a wrecking ball through high-street sales.

A source said: "Peacocks is looking to get more flexibility from the banks in order to increase the pace of its store opening programme." Peacocks, which opened its first store in Warrington in 1884, plans to more than double in size over the next couple of years to 1,000 stores.

A host of retailers are looking closely at refinancing in order to release capital in troubled economic times. Speculation is growing that both department store Debenhams and Topps Tiles are arranging refinancing packages with banks.