The Peacock Group is enjoying the fruits of the strategic changes it has made to its business. With supermarket chains like Tesco and Asda offering clothing, the high street retailer was forced to reconsider its options: face the concequences of lower margins or implement changes. According to the Group’s most recent quarterly results, Peacocks registered an underlying sales growth of 4.3 percent. In contrast Matalan sales fell 7.5 percent and M&S sales dropped 4.3 percent.
“If we hadn’t done something we would have been eaten alive,” chief executive Richard Kirk told the FT. With 55 percent of the group’s revenue coming from women’s wear and the less affluent being the most trend concious, Kirk pointed out that the change was obvious. “There’s no doubt people from Liverpool and Tyneside are more sensitive to high-street fashion than those in London ,” he said. “There, people are too concerned with paying the mortgage.”
The Group has refurbished its stores to reflect the new style. As further part of the new strategy, Peacocks’ Bonmarché chain – aimed at older women – has divided its range into three categories: classic for the 55+ age group, contemporary for the 50-65 age group and fashion for the 45-55 group. The move has transformed the group, whose sales fell drastically last year. “Some of our customers are very conservative, but the 45-65 year olds still want to stay in touch,” said Kirk. Furthermore, the Group has added to its buying team and is making more use of freelance designers and fashion forecasters. It has also enhanced its supply chain, now sourcing from Turkey and eastern Europe as well as from Far East Asia.
Through franchise operator Alshaya, Peacocks has 15 franchise storesin Turkey and the Middle East . “The Mideast is not the ideal location but it is the perfect step to the Far East and eastern Europe,” said Kirk. “Hopefully, we’ll be opening our first shop in Ukraine in the autumn and maybe Russia after that.”