Gains and losses as chain bought

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JOBS have been gained and lost in Leeds after the sale of Peacocks to Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

One store in Leeds has been saved but another will close after it failed to be bought by the new owner.

Joint administrators Richard Fleming, Chris Laverty, Ed Boyle and Joff Pope of KPMG have revealed that the Peacocks brand, 388 stores and concessions, as well as the business’ headquarters and logistics functions in Wales, have been sold, saving 6,000 jobs. But the remaining 224 stores not included in the sale have ceased trading resulting in 3,100 redundancies.

KPMG has told the YEP that in Yorkshire 17 Peacocks stores have been sold saving approximately 196 jobs, including those in Cross Gates, Harrogate and Bradford.

But 13 have closed, including those in Huddersfield, Seacroft and Killingworth, resulting in approximately 147 redundancies.

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

However, a strong brand presence and loyal customer following meant that Peacocks attracted a great deal of interest from both trade and private equity bidders, leading to the successful sale.”

John Gorle, national officer of the Usdaw union, said it was bad news for those losing their jobs. He said: “While this is obviously fantastic news for those workers whose jobs have been saved, it is absolutely catastrophic news for the 3,100 people now facing the dole queue and this remains one of the worst redundancy situations of recent years with Scotland being particularly hard hit.”

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