Peacocks put on a dazzling display

THE high street is fast moving, fit to burst and feeds our ever-hungry fashion habit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on how much we crave and can afford.

Vicky Pepys finds Peacocks on a new perch

THE high street is fast moving, fit to burst and feeds our ever-hungry fashion habit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending on how much we crave and can afford.

The rise and continuing popularity of the ‘affordable’ stores and that’s inclusive of supermarket brands, say something about us. We’ll buy a quick fashion fix instead of lunch; sometimes it’s cheaper!

But let’s not be fooled, garments with lower price points are ‘temporary’, made for wearing right now and that’s it, there’s no false promises made, they’ll not last too long.

Look at the labels, see that they’re sourced from China, Bangladesh and India and hope that the working conditions meet our strict European criteria; without the production there’s surely unemployment? Good? Bad? Don’t Know? Ultimately it’s our choice. We’re lucky to have that freedom.

Peacocks is one of the better known ‘affordables’ at a ‘local’ level. We’ve got 18 branches in the region, happily existing and doing well from Whitley Bay to Stockton-on-Tees with some good choices for ladies and girls, men’s, boys and children.

The ‘traffic control’ lines at the till points of the smallest store sell of the busy times, after-school teenagers and Saturday morning shoppers for that nights party. Peacocks does OK; in fact more than OK it seems; even moving up a notch or two with a brand new look, new style superstore opening within the MetroCentre this Thursday, their 500th in total and the seventh this year, of this type. It obviously reflects the performance but perhaps a new confidence too?

“This year we invested £21.5m into growth in the UK opening 30 new stores and refreshing 25 key sites.” explains MD Tim Bettley.

“As part of this investment we decided that our major city stores needed a stronger fashion emphasis.

“We are competing with retailers like Top Shop, River Island and New Look in the city centres and we need to be ‘up there’ with our store design.”

Tim describes the new look store as ‘next generation’.

“They are very fashionable,” he says, “very exciting and very different,” and tells of quirky oversized chandeliers, distressed wallpaper, hanging chairs for high level displays.

Extravagant cream antique wardrobes and trunks, gallery style graphics, contrasting modern lighting, and brushed metal and chrome fixtures. It’s been a total investment of almost £21m and has created 500 new jobs.

Smaller Peacocks already have between 30-50 new lines arriving every week and this new store will also see much bigger quantities of the more directional looks to become not only be a strong competitor on outward appearance but in content too.

Peacocks are currently flying high; we’ll see them in a full and colourful ‘display’ from now on.

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