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Some shops rescued

Edinburgh Woollen Mill jobs saved in consortium deal

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has its roots in Scotland (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the clothing retailer with roots in Scotland, has been bought out of administration in a deal that will save 1,453 jobs and 246 stores.

However, on an otherwise rare glimpse of good news for the sector, 119 stores have closed and 485 staff have been made redundant.

Administrators at FRP said this was in addition to 866 redundancies announced when the group collapsed last November.

The new owners have given 246 stores under the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Bonmarche and Ponden Home brands a new lease of life.

A complex deal has been agreed involving a consortium of international investors who will inject fresh funds into the business, led by the existing management team.


It is understood that Dubai-based billionaire Philip Day, who built his retail empire around the chain, will effectively lend the group the money to buy the businesses which will be paid back over a number of years.

EWM fell into administration as the business became a victim of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

FRP said that Purepay Retail, a secured creditor to the business, has now acquired all the remaining stock as well as EWM’s head office site in Carlisle.

A consortium of international investors has acquired Purepay and is injecting capital into the business.

FRP said that Peacocks, also part of the EWM group, remains in administration, as does Jaeger Retail.

Marks & Spencer is in the process of buying the Jaeger brand though the deal will not include its stores.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill was established in Edinburgh in the 1970s before moving its HQ to the Scottish borders and then to Carlisle.

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