Jobs fears in Peacocks and Bonmarche stores

A TOTAL of 19 employees at Bonmarche and Peacock fashion stores in Banbridge have been left in fear of losing their jobs following the announcement earlier this week that the group’s stores are to be placed in administration.

Managers at both outlets were not permitted to make any comment to the media, but did confirm the number of workers affected - Peacocks employ 11 members of staff and Bonmarche eight.

There are 27 Peacock stores in Northern Ireland and it is thought Bonmarche has around 10. The Peacock Group, which employs a combined 11,000 staff across the UK, said it made the decision after discussions with lenders broke down. The discussions had been over the future of the group.

A spokesperson for the Peacock Group said board members and advisers had been discussing for some time the restructuring of the business with the Group’s lenders, but “unfortunately, these talks have now concluded and no agreement has been reached”.

However, the spokesperson added that discussions with other potential investers were ongoing and, “to protect the business while discussions with such investers are progressed”, the directors of the Peacock Group have filed a Notice of Intention to appoint an administrator.

Existing management remain in place as an administrator has not been appointed.

“Following this careful and thorough review, the Board believes Bonmarche will be better positioned under different ownership and is in advanced and exclusive discussions with a potential purchaser,” the spokesperson added.