Clothing & Shoes

Edinburgh Woollen Mill to shut 50 stores, 600 jobs at risk

Phillip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) is reportedly set to shutter 50 of its stores, placing around 600 jobs at risk, as it begins its restructuring process. 

According to The Telegraph, the majority of the closures will take place in its Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Peacocks chains and will affect its shop floor staff. 

Earlier this month, EWM announced it was appointing FRP advisory as administrators to conduct a review of the business.

In an update the group said it was “responding to the harsh trading conditions caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and a recent reduction in its credit insurance” and the review is part of a drive to “secure their future”.

The group filed a notice to appoint administrators with the High Court on 9 October which it said will give the business “necessary breathing space” while it assesses the various options available.

In recent weeks EWM had received a number of expressions of interest for various parts of the group and it added these are being “assessed along with all other options”. 

The news also comes after Property Week revealed that a number of landlords had “reacted angrily” to EWM’s administration plans, questioning why a “previously very profitable company” was taking such action. 

In a letter reportedly seen by the outlet, Anthony Ratcliffe from Ratcliffe’s Chartered Surveyors, which manages a small number of properties leased to EWM, said his clients would reject the proposals.

He also added that “other fashionwear groups have negotiated fair and appropriate concessionary rent arrangements with their landlords”.

Retail Sector has commented EWM for comment.

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