Good news for Wisbech as store among a handful in East Anglia to be saved

A WISBECH shop is among those to have been saved following the collapse of a major fashion group.

Peacocks has pledged to keep its Wisbech store open following the sale of the parent group to Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

However many of the company’s stores through East Anglia will shut including those in Castle Mall Shopping Centre and Riverside Retail Park in Norwich are to close alongside stores in Great Yarmouth, Dereham and Bury St Edmunds, with the loss of 82 jobs.

But almost 80 jobs have been saved as a result of the sale with the new owners pledging to keep shops in Wisbech, Lowestoft, Gorleston, Thetford, Downham Market, and King’s Lynn open.

Peacocks collapsed under a debt mountain last month in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths, placing 7,500 jobs in jeopardy.

Edinburgh, which beat off Indian textile and clothing giant S Kumars Nationwide, said it would attempt to save some of the stores and jobs being lost today.

However, chief executive Philip Day added: “As you can imagine, there will be a considerable amount of work to undertake over the next few months to stabilise the situation, turn this business around, get the supply chain moving again and excite the customers with great products.”

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Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “The 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 that 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.”

Bonmarche, which was part of the Peacock Group, was sold last month in a deal that will lead to 1,400 job losses.