- Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, owner of British fashion retailers Peacocks and Jaegar, is on the brink of collapse, court documents show.
- The company plans to appoint administrators to find a buyer, it said.
- The move puts 24,000 jobs at risk.
- The company’s chief executive said store closures were “inevitable.”
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Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, owner of UK retailers Peacocks and Jaegar, is on the brink of collapse, putting 24,000 jobs at risk, court documents show.
The company has notified the High Court that it plans to appoint administrators to look for potential buyers.
Steve Simpson, chief executive of the group, said in a letter to staff Friday morning that store closures were “inevitable.” Coronavirus lockdowns had hurt sales, he said.
The major national retailer, founded in 1946, has 400 retail stores across the country, ranging from high-street shops to garden centre concession stands. Between all its brands, it employs about 24,000 people.
With the coronavirus crisis discouraging customers from leaving the house to shop, many stores are struggling to keep their doors open. Fashion giant H&M announced on October 1 that it would shut 250 stores in 2021 so it can focus on online sales.
Many other big-name brands have been forced to close their stores during the pandemic, including British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger, which announced it was closing 30 shops and cutting more than 1,000 jobs in July. Fashion retailer M&Co also confirmed the closure of 47 stores in August.
One in ten high street stores in the UK are now vacant, according to data published by retail analysts Springboard on September 3.