FASHION chain Peacocks has been saved from the brink of collapse after plunging into administration five months ago.

The retailer, which has a store in Spindles shopping centre, Oldham, has been rescued by a senior executive with backing from an international consortium, saving 200 out of its 400 stores and 2,000 jobs.

Chief operating officer Steve Simpson will take over the business, which he hopes to reopen once lockdown restrictions ease.

The chain was part of retail mogul Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) fashion empire which collapsed in November last year.

According to reports 2,000 jobs have already been lost, adding to the pandemic's retail casualty list that has seen the likes of Debenhams, Thorntons and Topshop disappear from the high street.

The consortium of international backers are primarily based in Dubai, where Mr Day lives.

A similar deal was set in place with the EWM and Bonmarche brands, while Mr Day’s other brand, Jaeger, was sold to Marks & Spencer, where it will become an online-only business.

The deal will see the EWM brands, excluding Jaeger, reform under the old management led by Mr Simpson.

Mr Day will not be in control of the business – ending several decades of involvement in the UK high street – and will hope to recoup the cash he invested in Peacocks through the deal.

According to reports, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley was also interested in the Peacocks brand, although administrators failed to reach an agreement with him.

Peacocks had 400 stores going into the pandemic a year ago and announced a series of job losses and store closures as it struggled to manage under the various restrictions.

The chain had a poor online presence compared with rivals and – along with Arcadia and Debenhams – struggled to recoup business through its websites, leading to its collapse.