Stricken Peacocks gets rid of 249 office staff

The administrators of Peacocks, the failed fashion chain, axed nearly half of its head office staff yesterday as two more retailers joined the list of high street casualties.

Deloitte was called in as administrators at both the children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch and at the motor cycle seller George White Motors.

The debt-laden Peacocks, which has 563 shops and 48 concessions, appointed KPMG as administrator on Wednesday after an eleventh-hour rescue bid was rejected by its banks. KPMG, which is continuing to trade Peacocks stores while it searches for a buyer, yesterday made 249 of 515 Peacocks' head-office staff in Cardiff redundant. Any rescue deal is likely to see a large number of the chain's stores closed and further job losses among its 9,351 staff.

Deloitte meanwhile cut 60 of the 400 staff and closed five stores at Pumpkin Patch, the New Zealand-based firm that opened the first of its 36 UK stores in 2000. At George White, founded 50 years ago, 61 staff were made redundant as the administrators began to wind up the business yesterday.