4,700 jobs at risk after retailers Peacocks and Jaeger placed into administration

Peacocks (Credit: Ecclesshoppingcentre.co.uk)

More than 4,700 jobs are now at risk after retail brands Peacocks and Jaeger went into administration.

They belong to Carlisle-based retail business Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM).

Earlier this month more than 900 jobs were lost when the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home retail chains were put into administration, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the retail sector.

Both brands have continued trading from a reduced estate while administrators try and find buyers.

Peacocks and Jaeger continued trading and it was reported that EWM owner, Stockport-born Philip Day, was keen to strike a pre-pack deal for Peacocks that would see the 423-store chain go through administration and then be sold back to him.

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has been linked with a bid for Jaeger.

But a two-week deadline to find a buyer for the two brands has now passed.

Peacocks, which was founded in Warrington in 1884, employs 4,369 staff across 423 stores, while Jaeger runs 76 stores and concessions and has 347 employees.

Tony Wright, joint administrator from FRP Advisory, said: “Jaeger and Peacocks are attractive brands that have suffered the well-known challenges that many retailers face at present.

“We are in advanced discussions with a number of parties and working hard to secure a future for both businesses.”

So far, no store closures or redundancies have been announced.

A spokesperson for EWM Group said: “In recent weeks we have had constructive discussions with a number of potential buyers for Peacocks and Jaeger Ltd but the continuing deterioration of the retail sector due to the impact of the pandemic and second lockdown have made this process longer and more complex than we would have hoped.

“While those talks are ongoing, we no longer have an option to extend the standstill agreement originally imposed by the High Court six weeks ago any further.

“Therefore, as directors, we have taken the desperately difficult decision to place Peacocks and Jaeger into administration while those talks continue.

“We will continue to do all we can to support FRP Advisory in trying to secure the best outcome possible for these businesses.”