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Edinburgh Woollen Mill has been bought out of administration

Written by Robert Moore Marketing Manager 12 January 2021

12 January 2021

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has been bought out of administration.

Its rescue deal saves 1,453 jobs (1,347 store staff together with 72 head office staff and 34 from distribution) and 246 stores. However, administrators, FRP Advisory announce that 119 stores have been permanently closed and 485 staff made redundant, in addition to the 866 jobs redundancies when the group collapsed last November.

The buyers of the retailer are a consortium of international investors, in a group called 'Purepay Retail'. They will inject fresh funds into the business, whilst the existing management team continues to lead. Billionaire businessman, Philip Day, who owns the brands is understood to lend the group money to buy the businesses which will be paid back over a number of years.

Purepay Retail have acquired the remaining stock of the company and its head office site in Carlisle. The deal also covers one of the groups other brands, Ponden Home, an interiors chain in the south east of England.

Joint administrator and Partner at FRP Advisory, Tony Wright spoke on the situation: "This transaction provides the best chance to save stores and jobs, but also meet our own statutory obligations to creditors. However, with such little visibility on future trading conditions in UK retail, we regret that not all of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home could be rescued. This has resulted in a significant number of redundancies at a particularly challenging time of year and period of economic uncertainty''.

To further add, Purepay acquired Bonmarché, including its remaining stock and its head office site and distribution centre in Wakefield. This secures the future of 72 of its stores under licence, 387 store staff, all 51 head office and 93 distribution centre staff.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Groups' Peacocks remains in administration, though its Jaegar brand was saved by Marks and Spencers earlier this week - note no stores were saved and so jobs are unlikey to be saved.

6 November 2020

Edinburgh Woollen Mill which has 384 stores across the UK, and 2,571 staff has called in administrators, Tony Wright and Alastair Massey, partners at FRP Advisory.  In addition Day’s homeware retailer Ponden Homes also fell into administration.  It should be noted that its other subsidiaries, including Jaeger and Peacocks, are not part of the administration.

750 staff at Edinburgh Woollen Mill were made redundant and leading up to the administration 56 stores have already been closed.

Meanwhile, eight Ponden Home stores and concessions have been permanently closed, and 116 roles were made redundant. The retailer has 73 stores and 329 staff.

FRP’s Wright said: “Recent months have proven extremely challenging for many retailers, even those that were trading well before the pandemic, including the teams at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home. The administrations will provide some further protection while we continue our search for buyers to secure the long-term futures for both businesses.''

Category: What is administration

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