THERE are fears that Bishop Auckland could lose another high street chain store.

Troubled fashion retailer Peacocks, on Newgate Street, has launched a 'closing down sale' leading to fears it will close for good.

The move comes after Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), the high street fashion chain which owns Peacocks, confirmed that it is close to collapse, with 24,000 jobs at risk.

Sam Zair, county councillor and Bishop Auckland town cllr, said: "Town centres were rapidly changing before this virus, but the way things are now going with shop after shop closing who knows what the future holds for high streets.

"At the moment every single business in Bishop Auckland is finding it hard, and not just the hospitality sector.

"I really feel sorry for families who are losing their jobs as well as businesses.

"This problem is global. At this moment, I just don’t know what the answer is."

In the North-East, Peacocks stores can also be found in Darlington, Consett, Chester-le-Street, Stockton-on-Tees, Washington, Seaham and Catterick.

The company has lodged a notice of intention to appoint administrators with hopes of finding potential buyers to rescue the struggling business.

Bosses at EWM warned staff that the national and local lockdowns had taken a heavy toll on sales.

All stores will continue trading until further details are announced by the company in due course.