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Peacocks, Jaeger go into administration; 4,716 jobs at risk

LONDON (Reuters) - British fashion chains Peacocks and Jaeger have fallen into administration, putting 4,716 jobs at risk and joining a growing list of retailers pushed over the edge by the COVID-19 crisis.

Women wearing protective masks pass a branch of fashion chain Peacocks that was closed down in Hackney, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London, Britain, November 20, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Newman

Tony Wright and Alastair Massey, partners at business advisory firm FRP, were appointed as joint administrators to Peacocks and Jaeger on Thursday, FRP said.

Peacocks, based in Cardiff, Wales, operates 423 stores with 4,369 staff. London-based Jaeger has 76 stores and employs 347.

Their administration followed the failure of efforts by management to secure a solvent sale of both businesses.

Both retailers are part of privately-owned EWP Group.

No redundancies or store closures have been made on FRP’s appointment, it said.

“Jaeger and Peacocks are attractive brands that have suffered the well-known challenges that many retailers face at present,” said FRP partner Tony Wright.

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

Even before the pandemic, bricks and mortar clothing retail in Britain was facing a major structural challenge with the economics of operating stores on traditional leases proving increasingly difficult.

Peacocks and Jaeger’s fall into administration follows that of Oasis, Warehouse and Laura Ashley earlier this year.

Last Sunday, Arcadia, the Topshop-to-Dorothy Perkins fashion group controlled by retail businessman Philip Green, denied a report it was about to go into administration.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Stephen Addison and David Evans

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