Shops at risk

Edinburgh Woollen Mill on brink of collapse

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Edinburgh Woollen in Pitlochry (pic: Terry Murden)

High street clothing chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which owns Peacocks, Jaeger and Jane Norman, is close to appointing administrators in an attempt to save the business and 24,000 jobs. 

Staff were told today that the national and local lockdowns had hit sales heavily. It operates through 1,100 stores and has a portfolio of brands, including Bonmarché which is not part of the filing.

A collapse of the company, which opened its first shop in Edinburgh in 1970, would be Britain’s largest business casualty to date.

It is heavily reliant on tourists and has seen sales hit hard during the pandemic.

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Daily Business reported lat month that it was weighing up the sale of some of its brands after it was approached by several interested buyers.

Billionaire owner Philip Day has engaged insolvency specialists at FRP to carry out an urgent review ahead of further action.

All stores will continue trading and further details will be announced in due course, the company added, but significant changes are expected.

EWM chief executive Steve Simpson said: “Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months extremely difficult.

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