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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Workington clothes store is saved from closure

A popular Workington clothes shop has been saved from closure.

Staff at fashion chain Bonmarche, on Ivison Lane, found out yesterday that new owners, private equity outfit Sun European Partners, had negotiated a lower rent with the landlord.

Its eight staff will keep their jobs.

The store will close this Thursday but will reopen shortly afterwards with new stock.

Joyce Ferguson, store manager since it opened 17 years ago, said: “We are ecstatic. We have been in limbo for a while and the uncertainty had been getting everyone down.”

It was previously owned by the Peacock Group, and when Sun European Partners took over it immediately announced plans to shut 160 stores.

Meanwhile, last-ditch talks are taking place to save Peacocks in Murray Road after it closed suddenly last week, with the loss of 13 jobs.

The national chain went into administration in January.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought hundreds of the firm’s shops across the country, but the Workington branch was one of 224 not included in the sale.

However, Edinburgh Woollen Mill owner Philip Day, of Brampton, this week said he wanted to save as many jobs as possible.

The company says the Workington store is among 75 that it hopes to reopen.

A spokesman said: “It is on our list to get it reopened again. If we can get it opened that would be great.

“It’s a bit early to say anything as we don’t want to raise anyone’s hopes. Hopefully in the next 10 days a decision will be made.”

Edinburgh Woollen Mill opened a branch in Workington last July on Ivison Lane and created 13 jobs.

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