ELEVEN jobs have been saved at Littlehampton’s troubled Peacocks store in High Street.
The shop had faced an uncertain future after the national high street clothing chain racked up more than £240m of debt, forcing it into the throes of administration, in January.
However, after weeks of negotiation, representatives from KPMG, the joint administrators of Peacocks, announced the retailer had been purchased by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWL).
EWL’s deal has protected more than 6,000 jobs nationwide, with 388 stores saved – Littlehampton’s included.
However, not all branches were spared. Some 224 stores were closed, with about 3,100 staff members being made redundant.
Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “This deal ensures the continued trading of a well-known name on the high street.
“While it is unfortunate that redundancies have been necessary, we are pleased we have been able to preserve the majority of the business and jobs.
“Like many other retailers, Peacocks suffered from a decline in consumer spending due to the tough economic conditions and this, combined with a surplus of stores and unsustainable capital structure, led to the business becoming financially unviable.
“However, a strong brand presence and loyal customer following meant Peacocks attracted a great deal of interest from trade and private equity bidders, leading to last Wednesday’s successful sale.
“I would take this opportunity to thank the management team and staff for their continued assistance in very difficult circumstances; their support has been invaluable in securing today’s sale.”