Peacocks staff appreciate support amid jobs fear

STAFF at a clothing store in Banbridge which faces closure have thanked members of the public for their support in the past week.

The manager at Peacocks in Newry Street said that, while she is still not permitted to make any comment to the media regarding the store’s parent company being placed into administration last week, a word of thanks must go to their loyal customers.

The woman, who has worked in the store for 10 years, said staff have been overwhelmed by the public support they have received since it was announced the Peacock Group was to be placed in administration last week.

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”.

Meanwhile Bonmarche, which was also part of the Peacock Group, was bought over yesterday (Monday) by the private equity group Sun European Partners. The company has said it will close around 160 stores across the UK, leaving the remaining 230 open.

No-one from the store, which employs eight staff members, was allowed to speak yesterday on possible job losses.

The Peacocks store manager however, recalled a large number of people visiting the store last week to offer words of sympathy as staff fear for their jobs.

“I would like to thank everyone who has called in and spoken to us, it really means a lot,” she said. “The store is popular with people in Banbridge and that is obvious from the amount of people who have visited us this past week. We are very grateful for their support.”

The Peacock Group statement added,- “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.”

There are 27 Peacock stores in Northern Ireland and it is thought Bonmarche has around 10.