Jan 11, 2021
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Edinburgh Woollen Mill deal imminent, but many stores to close - report

Jan 11, 2021

Some Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores could be saved with a report that the chain is about to be sold, although the potential buyer hasn’t been named.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill

The Sunday Times said that hundreds of jobs could be rescued with administrator FRP Advisory having issued sale contracts to the “potential buyer”.

But despite the positive news, it still seems that only a small number of shops in the 400-store chain will continue. The company has already made around a third of the more-than-2,500 employees redundant since the EWM chain collapsed last November.

The chain was the foundation of the larger EWM group that had been built up by retail billionaire Philip Day. He also owned Peacocks, Bonmarché, Jaeger and Austin Reed and had a total empire of 1,100 stores.

That chain is now being picked apart with Jaeger reportedly set to be bought by M&S, although there’s little news on other fascias and the newspaper said a Peacocks buyout plan led by its e-commerce chief has “stalled”.

Philip Day still has a big say in what happens to the various businesses having taken £140 million of security at group level that the newspaper added “was previously held by Barclays Bank and cross-guaranteed by various group companies”.

It quoted a source close to the billionaire saying the bank had insisted on repayment and also that Day is “ready to provide financial support to any credible purchaser of his former businesses”.

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