- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Categories: Feature, Media
NINE members of staff at Carmarthen’s Peacocks store have been made redundant after the company was bought out of administration by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.
As well as the Lammas Street shop, Peacocks stores in Llanelli’s Parc Trostre and Llanelli Shopping Centre will also close, where 31 people have lost their jobs.
However, the chain’s Ammanford store has been saved.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has acquired the Peacocks brand, 388 stores and concessions, as well as the business’s headquarters and logistics functions in Wales.
A total of 224 stores have closed with immediate effect.
Commenting jointly, Plaid Cymru’s Ammanford-based politicians, AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas and MP Jonathan Edwards, said: “It is welcome news that a deal has been reached for the business as a whole and that Ammanford’s doors can remain open.
“It is disappointing that so many stores throughout Wales will close their doors, especially those other stores within Carmarthenshire.
“We wish those workers who have lost their jobs every success for the future and hope they are able to find new employment as soon as possible.
“Our party has called for a full and open inquiry into the role played by the Royal Bank of Scotland — a publicly owned bank — in this whole affair.”
Joff Pope, joint administrator and associate partner at auditors KPMG, said: “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.”
Philip Day, chairman and chief executive of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, said: “We do hope that there will be scope to save more jobs and stores from those being forced to close now due to performance issues and overhead pressures.
“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.”
Labour’s Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson said: “Four of the 11 stores closing in Wales — around a third of the jobs going — are in Mid and West Wales.
“It’s a huge blow to those families, to those towns and high streets.
“My immediate concern is that everyone who has lost their job receives all the support they’re entitled to, and I will be seeking assurances from the Government that this happens.”
It was announced recently that the Bonmarche shop in Lammas Street is also closing, with the loss of nine jobs.
Last month the fashion chain, which was part of the Peacocks Group, was bought by a private equity group Sun European Partners.