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Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group to close 50 stores, cut 600 jobs

By Huw Hughes

19 Oct 2020


Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is to close 50 stores, putting around 600 jobs at risk.

While it is not certain which stores will be closed, it is known the closures will mainly affect the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks chains, with most job cuts affecting shop-floor staff.

The group, whose portfolio also includes brands Jaeger and Bonmarché, earlier this month filed a notice to appoint administrators in a bid to save the company amid “brutal” trading conditions.

The group has until Thursday to secure a secure deal, which would reportedly rescue Peacocks chain and Bonmarche. The deal would see Peacocks being acquired out of administration, with its worst-performing stores permanently shut, according to The Guardian.

The deal could also see EWM, which has around 260 stores, closed down following difficult trading.

EWM Group to close stores amid rescue attempt

EWM chief executive Steve Simpson earlier this month described the past seven months as “extremely difficult” and said the last few weeks have been particularly hard as false rumors about EWM’s outstanding supplier debt adversely impacted its credit insurance.

“Traditionally, EWM has always traded with strong cash reserves and a conservative balance sheet, but these stories, the reduction in credit insurance, against the backdrop of the lockdown and now this second wave of Covid-19, and all the local lockdowns, have made normal trading impossible,” Simpson said.

“Through this process I hope and believe we will be able to secure the best future for our businesses, but there will inevitably be significant cuts and closures as we work our way through this.”

Photo credit: Jaeger, Facebook