Peacock sparks voucher dispute

Peacocks store within Park View Shopping Centre at Whitley Bay.

Peacocks store within Park View Shopping Centre at Whitley Bay.

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CUSTOMERS have been left fuming after being told their vouchers for a Chorley store are worth nothing more than pence.

In February, the Guardian reported that Chorley’s Peacocks store, on Market Walk, was to remain open - while 224 of its sister stores across the country were closed down.

KPMG, joint administrators of Peacocks, announced that the business had been sold to one of the largest UK’s chains, Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

But despite being business as usual, the store has been forced to stop accepting vouchers, due to the amount of debt the company found themselves in.

This means that customers who have bought vouchers are left to fill out a form, to claim some of their lost money back.

But for a £10 voucher, it transpires that Peacocks is only able to offer a seven pence return.

One Chorley customer, who wanted to remain unnamed, said: “I bought a voucher for my friend over Christmas, and the people at the store told her that she couldn’t use it.

“She got told at the time that she could send a form to administration, or she could wait a couple of weeks.

“If she sends off the form, the £10 voucher will only get seven pence.

“I will never buy anything in that shop ever again - it is absolutely disgusting.”

A KPMG spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the Administrators were unable to accept gift vouchers whilst they traded Peacocks due to the severe level of debt that the business was in.

“Our priority was to stabilise the business as quickly as possible and find a buyer to secure its future.

“All those with vouchers were asked to register with KPMG as unsecured creditors but were warned that because Peacocks had debts of over £700 million, it was likely that they would see only a nominal return. We have written to all voucher holders registered with us to say that the likely return for a gift voucher with a value of £10 will be approximately seven pence.”