// Peacocks has been bought out of administration by an international investment consortium
// The consortium is backed by Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s COO Steve Simpson
// The deal will save 200 stores & 2000 jobs, although during the pandemic 200 store closures & 2000 job cuts were made
Collapsed fashion retailer Peacocks has been bought out of administration by a senior executive with backing from an international consortium, it has been announced.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s (EWM) chief operating officer Steve Simpson will take over the business, saving 2000 jobs and 200 stores, which he hopes to reopen once lockdown restrictions on non-essential retailers ease.
Peacocks was part of the Philip Day-owned EWM fashion retail empire which collapsed in November last year.
- Philip Day’s Peacocks owes creditors £70m
- Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Ponden Home & Bonmarche saved in deal protecting 1984 jobs
- 4700 jobs at risk as Peacocks and Jaeger fall into administration
During the pandemic and leading up to EWM’s collapse, Peacocks shut down 200 stores – around half its estate – and made 2000 redundancies as it struggled to manage under the various restrictions.
Peacock also had a poor online presence compared with rivals and – along with Arcadia Group and Debenhams – struggled to recoup business through its websites, leading to its collapse.
Day was the biggest creditor of Peacocks and is owed money by the business he once owned.
Administrators from FRP negotiated a deal with him by signing a deferred loan agreement between a consortium of investors and the businessman which will eventually see him get his money out of the retailer.
The consortium of international backers are primarily based in Dubai, where Day lives.
A similar deal was set in place with EWM’s Bonmarche, Ponden Home and the flagship Edinburgh Woollen Mill fascias, while Jaeger was sold to Marks & Spencer, where it will become an online-only business.
The deal essentially sees all the former EWM brands – excluding Jaeger – reform under the old management led by Simpson.
However, Day will not be in control of the business – ending several decades of involvement in the UK high street.
He will still hope to recoup the cash he invested as a secured creditor through the rescue deals.
Unsecured creditors, including landlords, suppliers and the taxman, will lose out and are unlikely to get their money back.
According to reports, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley was also said to be interested in the Peacocks brand, although administrators failed to reach an agreement with him.
with PA Wires