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Richard Kirk

Chief execuitve, Peacock Group

Peacocks had a steady 2009 but was not one of the innovators in the value sector this year, which means it has been leapfrogged by a number of its rivals.

However, chief executive Richard Kirk continues to drive growth at the chain, with like-for-like sales up 8.3% over the 14 weeks to March 28. Total sales grew 15.2% over the fourth quarter and Kirk appointed Claire Brimblecombe from New Look as head of buying for womenswear. Kirk has also been canny in its acquisition of Woolworths sites and is among the top 10 occupiers of the collapsed retailer’s prime high street locations.

Peacocks has introduced higher price points - November’s launch of Christmas party dresses designed by Pearl Lowe saw the chain’s dresses hit the £40 mark for the first time.

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