Stores facing mixed fortunes

STAFF at clothes chain Bonmarché’s Wallsend shop face losing their jobs as it has been earmarked for closure.

Their colleagues at Bonmarché in North Shields are celebrating, however, as it is to remain open.

The chain was bought out of administration last month by private equity group Sun European Partners, but the Peacocks Group, of which it was part, is still waiting for a buyer.

The announcement on the differing futures of the chain’s two North Tyneside stores follows weeks of uncertainty after it was revealed that their new owner would be looking to close around 160 shops out of 390 nationwide.

A Bonmarché spokesperson said: “The Wallsend store is currently earmarked for closure.

“However, such stores are being constantly reviewed and careful consideration given.

“We are in discussions with landlords and councils to reduce costs and improve town amenities.

“The nearest open store to Wallsend is currently North Shields.”

The store in the Beacon Centre in North Shields will continue to employ seven members of staff.

Store manager Jill Rowland said: “Staff are thrilled with the news that we are remaining open.

“We would like to extend a special thanks to all our customers for their support and messages of encouragement over the last few weeks.”

It is still hoped that the borough’s Peacocks stores in Whitley Bay, Killingworth and North Shields can be saved, but a buyer for the chain has not yet been found.

Administrator KMP said yesterday that it is still in discussion with potential buyers but would not be releasing further details until a sale is finalised.