Sale of Peacocks to see Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Dereham and Bury St Edmunds shops to close

More than 80 jobs are to go across Norfolk and Suffolk as a deal was struck to sell a number of Peacocks shops to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill today.

More than 80 jobs and five shops are to go in Norfolk and North Suffolk after Peacocks was sold to Edinburgh Woollen Mill today.

Shops in Castle Mall Shopping Centre and Riverside Retail Park in Norwich are to close alongside stores in Great Yarmouth, Dereham and Bury St Edmunds, with the loss of 82 jobs.

But almost 80 jobs have been saved as a result of the sale with the new owners pledging to keep shops in Lowestoft, Gorleston, Thetford, Downham Market, Wisbech and King's Lynn open.

Peacocks collapsed under a debt mountain last month in the biggest retail failure since Woolworths, placing 7,500 jobs in jeopardy.

Edinburgh, which beat off Indian textile and clothing giant S Kumars Nationwide, said it would attempt to save some of the stores and jobs being lost today.

However, chief executive Philip Day added: 'As you can imagine, there will be a considerable amount of work to undertake over the next few months to stabilise the situation, turn this business around, get the supply chain moving again and excite the customers with great products.'

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Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: 'Today's deal ensures the continued trading of a well known name on the high street. 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.'

Bonmarche, which was part of the Peacock Group, was sold last month in a deal that will lead to 1,400 job losses.

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