Flagship Blackpool store closes

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A FLAGSHIP Blackpool store is set to close with the loss of all jobs.

Peacocks, on Bank Hey Street, is one of 224 stores in the chain to close after the firm was bought by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

In total, 3,100 staff will be made redundant across the UK. The exact number of jobs to go in Blackpool has yet to be revealed.

KPMG, joint administrators of Peacocks, who were called in in January, made the announcement late yesterday but said the chain’s two other Fylde coast stores – in Fleetwood and Poulton – will remain open.

Jeff Pope, of KPMG, said: “While it is unfortunate redundancies have been necessary, we are pleased that we have been able to preserve the majority of the business and jobs.”

Blackpool town centre manager Eileen Ormand said it was another blow for the resort’s high street.

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She added: “I’m absolutely gutted to hear of the closure.

“We just seem to be losing one after another and it’s hard to see a brighter future at the moment.

“It was such a flagship store and a prime destination in town.

“We couldn’t be more sorry to lose it and feel for the management and staff who had been left dangling.

“My hope now is that the Government’s Portas Review of the high street will help.”

Peacocks employed 9,100 people in 611 stores and 49 concessions, but crashed into administration in January.

While many parts of the firm were profitable, a failure to restructure some £240m of its debts caused its downfall.

It was the biggest retail failure since Woolworths, placing 7,500 jobs in jeopardy.

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

John Gorle, a national officer for the Usdaw union, said: “While this is obviously fantastic news for those workers whose jobs have been saved, it is absolutely catastrophic news for the 3,100 people now facing the dole queue and this remains one of the worst redundancy situations of recent years.”

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