Peacocks Saved

Peacocks Eastleigh

Finance for the Peacocks buyout came form Santander - who in Eastleigh happen to be next door

Staff at Peacocks Market Street branch will be breathing a sigh of relief at the news that the Eastleigh branch of the discount clothing retailer has been spared from the axe by the chains new owners Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Workers in other Peacocks stores nearby are not so lucky. Both the Portswood and Southampton City stores are closing part of 224 branch closures and 3,100 job losses throughout the country.

The troubled retailer had gone into administration on January 19 succumbing to a falling market as the big supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda take a larger slice of clothing market share in a recession hit economy, however it was the cost of servicing its £750 million debt mountain that proved fatal.

In 2005 Peacocks were subject to a £400 million management buyout – unfortunately the finance came with an eye –watering 17% interest rate.

As well as Peacocks, Edinburgh Woollen Mill has its own store in Market Street and in addition owns the branch of Ponden Home a few doors away.

The Market Street branch of Roseby’s linen shop was another EWM owned business, although it closed three years ago.

EWM and Ponden Home, Market Street Eastleigh

Part of the same chain - all offering '20% off' -How will Ponden fare when Sainsbury's start selling ready made curtains?

Sainsbury’s plan to build a Megastore in Eastleigh with extra floor space devoted to its clothing range will surely be a cause of concern to EWM’s town centre stores.

Sainsbury’s announced in its last trading statement that it’s clothing and household goods sales are growing three times  faster than food – making Sainsbury’s the seventh largest clothing retailer by volume  in the UK.

Last year the BBC ran an exposé on James Pringle jumpers (£140 a pop) a label owned by and sold by EWM. Although the jumpers are labelled ‘Designed in Scotland’ the BBC discovered they are manufactured in Mongolia by North Korean workers.


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  4 comments for “Peacocks Saved

  1. Stephen Slominski
    February 25, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Arcadia group also have three stores in Eastleigh;Burtons (Market Street),Dorothy Perkins, Evans (Swan Centre).

    Arcadia have already announced they intend to close branches – I wonder what impact increased clothing sales from Sainsbury’s will have as currently Tesco sell no clothing and Sainsbury only a limited range with absolutely no Men’s range.

    Lib Dem claims that a new Sainsbury’s megastore will boost trade in the Town Centre must be solely in reference to Sainsbury’s future prospects.

  2. Peter Stewart
    February 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Peacocks is the tip of the iceberg.

    First we are told that Sainsbury’s want to build a mega-store in Eastleigh. Now we are told that this would destroy 5,450 square feet of Eastleigh’s Recreation Ground. This land grab may be one small step for Sainsbury’s, but I believe it is one giant leap too far for Eastleigh’s voters and will prove catastrophic for unwary Councillors across Eastleigh Central, South and North.

    In 1896, Eastleigh’s Recreation Ground became,

    “the property of the town”,

    thus said Arthur Drewitt in Eastleigh’s Yesterdays (1935) the first history of Eastleigh.

    Apparently,

    “Extraordinary difficulty attended the acquisition of this desirable property”.

    The history of Eastleigh’s Recreation Ground reads more like the history of a battle field! The account continues,

    “for between those who saw the immense value and possibilities of the land for recreational purposes, and those who regarded it as a financial proposition and nothing more, was waged a conflict hard and long.”

    Mr Drewitt makes clear the matter of who “owns” Eastleigh’s Recreation Ground,

    “A certain Saturday in October, 1896, remains a red-letter day in the annals of Eastleigh. Enthusiastic and joyful celebrations occupied that day. Handing the deed to Mr. Henry Willmer (Chairman of the Council), Mr. Wyndham Portal said, in the presence and hearing of the assembled crowd:- ‘This Deed conveys this piece of ground now and for ever to the charge of the Council in authority on behalf of the people – to Eastleigh and to his seed for ever’”

    As we see, Eastleigh Borough Council merely has charge of the land on behalf of the people. While the Recreation Ground has reduced in size over the years with extensions to The Point and a hard-standing area alongside the current Sainsbury’s, this does not set a trend for “building creep”.

    While 230 jobs could be created by the proposed mega-store, studies suggest 345 jobs could be destroyed, causing a net loss of 115 jobs. In addition, this mega-store would sell clothing, electrical goods and homeware and could drive the final nail into Eastleigh’s coffin (if the already unique free customer parking does not do so)!

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      Eastleigh Xpress
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