Administrator finds buyer for 230 Bonmarché stores

Published:  25 January, 2012

Sun European Partners has bought Bonmarché from the administrators, KPMG. It plans to retain 230 stores, but 160 will be closed

Bonmarché is one of the UK’s largest women’s only value retailers It was founded in 1982 and acquired by the Peacock Group in 2002.

Matthias Gundlach, vice president at Sun European Partners, said; “Bonmarché is a great brand that operates in an attractive niche of the apparel sector that we know very well. Thanks to its strong range with a good value-for-money proposition and a unique in-store service experience, Bonmarché has a loyal customer base of regular repeat buyers.

Jonathan de Mello, head of retail consultancy at CBRE commented: “With nearly 13,000 people employed across the Peacocks and Bon Marche group in circa 700 stores, the turn of the year prediction of potentially 30-40,000 jobs lost in the retail sector in 2012 looks as if it may come closer to becoming a reality.

Deep discounting pre-Christmas may have boosted like for like sales for some retailers, but certainly hit profit margins for those retailers that ‘panic discounted’. Profit is what counts particularly when it comes to retailers with large bank loans to repay, such as Peacocks. Peacocks has suffered most from the proliferation of larger supermarkets selling clothing, and the performance of competitors such as Primark.
The business may well survive in some form, though it would need to be significantly scaled back from its current position, given a number of Peacocks and Bon Marche stores trade in secondary and tertiary centres that shoppers are increasingly bypassing in favour of large city centres or urban malls.”

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