Future of Norwich, Dereham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn Bonmarche shops is uncertain as chain is sold

Bonmarche, the fashion chain which was part of collapsed retailer Peacocks Group, was sold today in a deal that will lead to 1,400 job losses and 160 store closures.

The chain, which has shops in Norwich, Dereham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Kings Lynn and Bury St Edmunds, has been sold to private equity firm Sun European Partners, which also owns the Alexon and Jacques Vert brands.

Regional managers will be told today which stores will stay open and those that will need to close.

The women's clothing retailer was taken over in a so-called pre-pack administration deal for an undisclosed sum.

Sun, which bought the entire chain apart from three stores, has said it will continue to run 230 stores but will close about 160.

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The store closures mean it will continue to employ about 2,400 of the chain's 3,800 strong workforce.

Headquartered in Wakefield, the business was founded in 1982 and acquired by the Peacock Group in 2002.

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Matthias Gundlach, vice president at Sun European Partners, said: 'Bonmarch� is a great brand that operates in an attractive niche of the apparel sector that we know very well. Thanks to its strong range with a good value-for-money proposition and a unique in-store service experience, Bonmarch� has a loyal customer base of regular repeat buyers.

'We are confident in putting a sustainable growth programme in place and working with the management team to develop the business successfully.'

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