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Jaeger owner Edinburgh Woollen Mill on brink of administration

By Huw Hughes

9 Oct 2020


Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has filed a notice to appoint administrators in a bid to save the company amid “brutal” trading conditions, a move reportedly putting 24,000 jobs at risk.

The group, whose portfolio includes brands Jaeger and Peacocks, said its stores will continue to trade as insolvency firm FRP spends 10 days carrying out a review of the business.

The company said it has received “a number of expressions of interest for various parts of the group”.

EWM chief executive Steve Simpson 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.”

An FRP spokesperson said: “Our team is working with the directors of a number of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group subsidiaries to explore all options for the future of its retail brands, including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger, Ponden Mill and Peacocks.”

Photo credit: Jaeger, Facebook