Thousands of Peacocks staff braced for closures

 

The fate of more than 9,000 staff at Peacocks will be decided this week, as the high street's biggest administration since Woolworths in 2008 comes to a head.

KPMG, the administrator to Peacocks, is set to conclude the sale of the discount fashion retailer as early as Wednesday. But even if the 600-plus store chain is rescued, hundreds of unprofitable shops are likely to be closed by the new owner.

Up to three bidders, including Alshair Fiyaz, the Pakistani business tycoon, were this weekend still in the running to acquire Peacocks, which collapsed with debts of £240m.

Mr Fiyaz has teamed up with the Danish investment fund Solstra Capital and submitted a second-round bid on 6 February.

Sources have suggested that a minimum of 200 stores could be closed as part of any rescue deal, and there remains the grim possibility that all bidders could walk away. The property firm Jones Lang LaSalle has been lined up to advise on the disposal of surplus stores after the sale of Peacocks.

The fashion chain, which is based in Cardiff, operates 563 stores and 48 concessions in the UK. It employs 9,350 staff, although KPMG made 249 head office employees redundant on 19 January, the day after Peacocks fell into administration.

The accountant continues to trade the shops. A Peacocks store close to Old Street Tube station in London was fully stocked on Friday afternoon, although it was running discounts of up to 70 per cent on some items.

Speculation has also centred on Matalan's intentions regarding Peacocks, whose chairman is Allan Leighton the former head of the supermarket chain Asda.

While Matalan typically operates much bigger stores than Peacocks in out-of-town retail parks, its founder, John Hargreaves, was allegedly spotted at Peacocks' Cardiff headquarters on 3 February. However, his intentions are unclear, and Matalan has its own debt issues to address.

All parties declined to comment.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?