British lifestyle brand Jack Wills has two potential buyers to avoid it falling into administration. Sports Director founder Mike Ashley and Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s billionaire CEO Philip Day are the last bidders left to buy the company, according to Sky News.

Devon-based Jack Wills employs over 1,800 people and operates 110 stores, including 10 standalone stores in the UK. Jack Wills’ parent company BlueGem is unlikely to make a profit from the sale of the fashion chain, which suffered a downturn in trading in recent years.

Frontrunner Mike Ashley would purchase the company to join a retail empire which spans House of Fraser, French Connection, Debenhams, Lillywhites and Sports Direct. But Ashley faces stiff competition from Day, whose EWM Group portfolio includes Austin Reed, Jaeger, Peacocks and the newly acquired Bonmarché.

If Jack Wills is bought by Sports Direct there are expected to be job losses, according to Sky News.

 

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