THREE Peacocks clothes shops across south Essex will close with the loss of 45 jobs.

Stores in Basildon, Grays and Lakeside will close immediately, but shops in Southend, Wickford, Rayleigh and Canvey have been saved.

Peacocks’s administrators KMPG said the privately owned Scottish group Edinburgh Woollen Mill had taken over 388 of its 612 stores which would safeguard around 6,000 jobs, but would make 3,100 people redundant.

KPMG said the stores it had decide to close was based on profitablilty.

There will be 12 redundancies in the Basildon store in Town Square, 12 at the Grays store and 21 at Lakeside Shopping Centre.

Chris Laverty, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, added: “The deal which has been struck ensures the continued trading of a well- known name on the high street.

“While it is unfortunate that redundancies have been necessary, we are pleased that we have been able to preserve the majority of the business and jobs.

“Like many other retailers, Peacocks suffered from a decline in consumer spending due to the tough economic conditions and this, combined with a surplus of stores and unsustainable capital structure, led to the business becoming financially unviable.

“However, a strong brand presence and loyal customer following meant Peacocks attracted a great deal of interest from both trade and private equity bidders, leading to the successful sale.”