Bonmarché trading poor
Value fashion retailer Peacock Group has revealed plans for 80 store openings this year, with the prospect of 800 more jobs.

The retailer posted total sales of£548.2 million for the year to March 31, up 11.8 per cent on the previous year. Profits climbed 6.9 per cent to£38.5 million. Group like-for-likes advanced 3.6 per cent.

Peacocks intends to open 30 Fragrance Shops, 30 Peacocks stores and 20 Bonmarché outlets. This follows the record opening of 95 stores across the group last year.

Sales at mature womenswear retailer Bonmarché fell 7.1 per cent compared with last year. The company described the trading as 'unacceptable' and said it aims to strengthen management and improve the product offering, store presentation and supply chain.

Sales growth was strongest at the eponymous Peacocks chain, which was up 9.3 per cent. The Fragrance Shop rocketed 52 per cent compared with last year.

Group chief executive Richard Kirk said: 'Our strategic change programme has transformed Peacocks into a fashionable chain that is able to compete with the best on the high street, at compelling value prices. We are now undertaking a similar process to align Bonmarché more closely with the needs of today's consumers, and expect this to deliver significant benefits in the medium-term.'