Investment in shops

Edinburgh Woollen Mill to relaunch Austin Reed

Austin Reed, Perth. One of the outlets that closed (photo by Terry Murden)
Austin Reed, Perth. One of the outlets that closed (photo by Terry Murden)

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is to relaunch the Austin Reed name after buying the fashion brand out of administration earlier this year.

It plans a £100 million investment over the next three years,  opening 50 Austin Reed stores among 200 in total. Edinburgh Woollen Mill also owns, Peacocks and Jane Norman as well as homewares retailer Ponden Mill and golfing brand Pro-Quip.

All Austin Reed’s 120 stores closed in the summer with the loss of 1,000 jobs.Edinburgh Woollen Mill acquired the brand, together with the Country Casuals name and five concessions in Boundary Mills outlet villages in the north of England.

EWM’s programme came with figures showing strong like-for-like sales across all its brands in the year to 27 February.

Profits before tax and exceptional items rose 2.4% to £90.9m on an increase in sales to £576.3 million from £562.6m in the previous corresponding period.

Over the year the company opened 43 stores across the UK and Ireland.

Steve Simpson, group commercial director, said: “We have continued to grow despite increased competition.

“With the addition of Austin Reed we aim to continue this organic growth, while always being ready to respond to other opportunities as they arise.”

He added: “We have worked hard this year to broaden the demographic that Edinburgh Woollen Mill appeals to.”

EWM has defied the move away from bricks and mortar and now operates 981 standalone stores across the UK, as well as concessions in other stores.

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