The announcement that Edinburgh Woollen Mill has bought struggling retail chain Peacocks has saved thousands of jobs across the UK, including many in Wales.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill, one of the best known High Street brands, takes control of the Peacocks name, nearly 400 of the company’s stores and the firm’s headquarters, based in Colwyn Bay.
Fifteen jobs have been saved at the headquarters, which is also the logistics and operations centre for Peacocks, as well as over 30 positions in branches in the Welsh towns of Llandudno, Rhyl and Bangor. However, over 200 units were not included in the Edinburgh Woollen Mill deal, which means that despite the good news for some Peacocks employees, over 3,000 still face redundancy.
KPMG were the administrators who were brought in to run Peacocks when the chain started to struggle in 2011, and were also behind negotiating the deal with Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Jeff Pope, one of the associate partners at KPMG, was happy that the name of Peacocks would continue, even though he and his fellow administrators had been unable to secure jobs for all employees.
He added that the popularity of the Peacock brand, and the good reputation it had enjoyed before experiencing financial problems, meant that the administrators had no problems in finding prospective bidders for the struggling business. Mr Pope thanked the management team at Peacocks, as well as the company’s employees, for their hard work during what has been a difficult time for many of them.
Local politician Ann Jones, Welsh Assembly member for the Vale of Clywd, was also sorry that all of the at-risk jobs could not be saved, but she welcomed the news that so many Welsh employees were now facing a more secure future.
Jones was particularly pleased that the local Peacocks branch in Rhyl, within her own constituency, had been saved, safeguarding jobs and keeping a popular business in the town centre open.