Smiles better for Bury as Bonmarche store is saved

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THERE was great news for management and staff at Bury St Edmunds’ threatened Bonmarche ladies’ fashion store on Wednesday when they heard it had been saved from closure.

Days of waiting anxiously ended and smiles returned to the faces of delighted assistants and customers too.

The performance of the Cornhill business, which opened in the town in 2007, was important enough to put it among the 230 being retained by the new owners of its parent group - rather than the 160 to be axed.

Management experts STI consultants, acting after the disposal, said the stores closing and those remaining with new owners Sun European Partners were being told this week.

Bonmarche had been owned by Peacocks who called in receivers last week with debts of £750m.

Ironically Sun European is rumoured to be one of around 50 groups who could be interested in acquiring Peacocks, which has a store in Bury’s arc shopping centre.

Companies have until January 30 to register an interest in Peacocks.

All staff at the Bury store would say was that they were trying to remain positive and were busy serving customers, who remarked that it would be sad if it closed.

However, one store where there is unlikely to be any change is the former Hawkin’s Bazaar in Cornhill, which closed just after Christmas when its parent company went into administration. The group was sold this week in a management buy-out. But a spokesman for administrators London-based Zolfo Cooper said that this was unlikely to lead to any re-opening.