Threat to Peacocks and Bonmarche

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TWO stores in Wisbech town centre are under threat after a major clothing firm announced it may be going into administration.

Peacocks, which also owns clothing store Bonmarche, was yesterday (Tuesday) given 10 days to find a new investor or it will go into administration due to debts of £240 million.

If the company folds, it could see the stores close, leaving two holes in Wisbech town centre.

Peacocks employs 10,000 people across the UK in more than 600 stores and concessions, as well as 117 other stores around the world. It bought Yorkshire-based Bonmarche 10 years ago.

Peacocks said it would try and find a potential buyer for the chain, which has 394 stores, but would appoint an administrator in the meantime.

The company is continuing to make an operating profit, but is being weighed down by massive debts that stem from a management buy-out in 2006.

Talks with lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, have so far failed to find a solution.