THOUSANDS of jobs could be under threat if clothing retailers Peacocks and Bonmarche are forced into administration.

Around 14,000 people across the country are employed by the Peacock Group, which owns Bonmarche.

It has Peacocks stores in Crayford Road in Crayford, Erith Riverside Shopping Centre and Cannon Retail Park in Thamesmead.

There are also Peacocks and Bonmarch branches in Broadway in Bexleyheath.

MP for Erith and Thamesmead Teresa Pearce said: "Erith has been doing very well in recent months. It is now the shopping centre of choice for many people due to the range of shops that have been attracted and the ease of parking .

"It would be very sad indeed to see one of the major retailers in Erith close its doors."

She added: "Its bad news for a number of our high streets and once again throws a spotlight on the banks who are refusing to lend to businesses yet still paying themselves bonuses, RBS and Bob Diamond in particular."

Peacock Group refused to say how many staff are employed by the company in Bexley.

A spokeswoman said: "The Board of the Peacock Group and its advisers have been discussing for some time the restructuring of the business with the Group’s lenders.

"Unfortunately these talks have now concluded and no agreement has been reached.

" However, discussions with other potential investors are on-going.

"To protect the business whilst discussions with such investors are progressed, the Directors of The Peacock Group have filed a notice of Intention to Appoint an Administrator.

"Existing management remain in place as an administrator has not been appointed."