Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM), owner of the Peacocks, Jaeger and Austin Reed fashion chains, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.
This move puts 21,500 jobs at risk across 1,100 stores. EWM said this was a response to “brutal” trading conditions caused by the pandemic.
EWM has appointed FRP, the business rescue and advisory firm, to review the business. A spokesperson for FRP said: “Our team is working with the directors of a number of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group subsidiaries to explore all options for the future of its retail brands, including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger, Ponden Mill and Peacocks.”
EWM chief executive Steve Simpson said: “Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months extremely difficult.
“The reduction in credit insurance, against the backdrop of the lockdown, current local lockdowns, and the second wave of Covid-19 reducing footfall have made normal trading impossible.
“As directors, we have a duty to the business, staff, customers and creditors to find the very best solution in this brutal environment. Through this process I hope and believe we will be able to secure the best future for our businesses, but there will inevitably be significant cuts and closures as we work our way through this."