Jaeger and Peacocks, two well-known UK fashion brands owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), have recently entered administration, raising concerns for the more than 4,700 jobs the companies represent. The fate of approximately 500 stores remains uncertain as talks over potential sales are ongoing, offering hope that liquidation can be avoided. Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s sister brand, also named Edinburgh Woollen Mill, commenced the insolvency process a few weeks ago, further exacerbating the financial challenges faced by the group.

The situation is being managed by FRP Advisory, the appointed administrator, who has confirmed that there will be no immediate store closures or job cuts. This news provides some reassurance to the affected employees during this difficult time. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that potential buyers will need to step forward to rescue the struggling brands, and unfortunately, it is conceivable that store closures may be unavoidable.

Administrator Tony Wright expressed a degree of optimism, emphasizing that Jaeger and Peacocks are attractive brands, and every effort is being made to secure their future. Several potential buyers have already emerged, including Philip Day, the former owner of Peacocks, who has expressed interest in acquiring the brand. In addition, parties such as ex-owner Harold Tillman, Torque Brands, Frasers Group, and M&S have also shown interest in acquiring Jaeger. The willingness of these potential buyers to invest in the struggling brands signifies the value they see in them.

The news of Jaeger and Peacocks’ administration comes at a time when EWM is facing additional challenges. Reports suggest that the company is closing its Days department store in Wales. This store, named after owner Philip Day, stocked the various brands owned by EWM and was intended to be the first of many department stores. Unfortunately, the negative impact of the pandemic has forced the closure of this establishment shortly after it reopened following the end of the Welsh lockdown.

In summary, the UK fashion industry is now faced with the imminent risk of significant job losses and potential store closures as Jaeger and Peacocks, owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mill, enter administration. Nonetheless, there are hopes that the brands will find buyers and be salvaged from liquidation. Efforts are being made to secure their future amidst various potential buyers expressing interest. However, it remains uncertain whether all stores will be able to avoid closure. The situation emphasizes the challenges faced by the fashion industry during these unprecedented times.

Useful links:
1. BBC: Jaeger and Peacocks owner EWM on brink of collapse
2. Retail Gazette: Jaeger and Peacocks owner EWM on the brink of administration