Shop chain seeks buyer

Edinburgh Woollen Mill falls into administration

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has 384 stores

High street clothing group Edinburgh Woollen Mill has put its eponymous stores into administration along with its Ponden Home brand.

Both will continue to trade while administrators continue to find a buyer.

Insolvency firm FRP Advisory is handling the process and said 750 staff at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and 116 employees at Ponden Home’s 73 stores would be made redundant immediately.

The group employs 21,000 across the group’s brands which include Peacocks, Jane Norman, Bonmarche, Jaeger and Austin Reed.

EWM, which has 384 stores, has been hit by poor trading in lockdown coupled with a credit insurance problem.


Jaeger is attracting the attention of Mike Ashley

Group owner Philip Day is understood to be working on a pre-pack deal for Peacocks that would see the 400-store chain go through administration and be immediately sold back to him and his finance partner Davidson Kempner. Sports Direct and Jenners owner Mike Ashley is said to be interested in Jaeger.

Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “Recent months have proven extremely challenging for many retailers, even those that were trading well before the pandemic, including the teams at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home.

“The administrations will provide some further protection while we continue our search for buyers to secure the long-term futures for both businesses.”

Edinburgh Woollen Mill began trading in Edinburgh 50 years ago. The company is now based in Carlisle.

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