A CLOTHING chain is coming back to Swadlincote – three times the size it was before – two years after it left the town’s new shopping development when it plunged into administration.
Frank McArdle, South Derbyshire District Council’s chief executive, made the announcement during the latest meeting of Newhall Area Forum after managing to ‘persuade’ the high street clothing retailer Peacocks to return to the town – in the former Woolworth’s unit, in High Street.
Peacocks originally set up shop in the then-new Pipeworks retail development but closed down less than a year later – with the loss of 15 jobs.
Mr McArdle said: “When we developed The Pipeworks we had one knock-back and that was Peacocks.
“We told them at the time it was a big mistake leaving Swadlincote and three weeks ago we managed to persuade them to return.
“It will be one of the largest Peacocks in this region in the old Woolworth’s store. It will be three times the size of the previous unit.”
Edinburgh Woollen Mill bought out the Peacocks chain in 2012, when it went into administration and while it saved the Burton, Ashby and Uttoxeter stores, Swadlincote was scrapped, with some town chiefs suggesting the company hadn’t given enough time for the new unit to build up profits.
The move comes as good news for the former Woolworth’s unit which closed down in 2009. Short-lived high street chain Allworths reopened in it a year later before closing within seven months.
Later, Poundstretcher took over, before moving over the road.
Mr McArdle said: “South Derbyshire is simply the right place to invest.
“Peacocks is taking over the largest available single retail unit on Swadlincote High Street. This is great news for the whole of the district and for Swadlincote High Street.
“When Woolworth’s first closed, this store was snapped up by a new retailer, Allworths, followed by Poundstretcher.
“Poundstretcher has consolidated into one large store elsewhere on the High Street and in its place we now have a major national retailer.
“South Derbyshire is always open for business and the takeover of this prominent store is yet another statement of confidence in Swadlincote and in South Derbyshire.”
At the time of going to press, Peacocks was unable to reveal how many jobs would be created.