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EWM begins shuttering small number of stores

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has reportedly already marked a small number of stores for closure as it continues to try and secure its future amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Drapers, EWM branded stores in Penrith, Cumbria and Dingwall in Scotland closed permanently over the weekend (24-25 October) whereas stores in Andover, Oswestry and Newbury reportedly have ‘closing down sale’ signs inside shop windows.

In addition, the outlet reports that a number of the group’s Peacocks stores in Acomb in North Yorkshire, East Dereham in Norfolk, Ryde and Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, and Washington in Tyne and Wear also have signs displayed.

Newcastle’s Bonmarché store also marks the group’s third brand to be earmarked with closing down signs.

Drapers cites that members of staff at the stores have not been notified whether the closures will be permanent.

The news comes after the group was reportedly granted a 10-day extension to its creditor protection.

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”.

Yesterday, reports suggested Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group was in contention to acquire  EWM’s “heritage” fashion brands Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jacques Vert.

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