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Rescue deal struck for Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Bonmarché

By Huw Hughes

Jan. 12, 2021

Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), Bonmarché and Ponden Home - which were all part of Philip Day’s collapsed EWM Group - have reportedly been saved after their administrators struck a deal with international investors.

Administrators at FRP Advisory have issued sale contracts to the potential buyer, in a deal that could save up to 2,500 jobs and 300 stores, The Sunday Times reports.

It is understood that Day will effectively lend the buyer money to acquire the brands and will then be paid back in the coming five years.

EWM Group’s brands, which also include Jaeger and Peacocks, were all hit hard in the past year by prolonged store closures.

Tony Wright, joint administrator from FRP, said in November: “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.

“Regrettably, the impact of Covid-19 on the brands' core customer base and tighter restrictions on trading mean that the current structure of the businesses is unsustainable and has resulted in redundancies.”

This week it was confirmed that Marks & Spencer had acquired London-based Jaeger for an undisclosed sum. The purchase includes the acquisition of Jaeger's brand and stock, but not its 63 remaining standalone stores.

Photo credit: Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Facebook