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UPDATE 1-UK's Edinburgh Woollen Mills set for administration, 24,000 jobs at risk

Fri, 9th Oct 2020 14:01

(Adds details)

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The owner of British clothing
retailers Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Peacock's and Jaeger is on
the brink of administration, putting 24,000 jobs at risk and
joining a growing list of store groups struggling to survive the
COVID-19 crisis.

The privately owned EWM Group said on Friday it had filed a
Notice to Appoint Administrators with the high court, giving the
business a short "breathing space" to assess its options.

It said it had received a number of expressions of interest
for various parts of the group and these were being assessed
along with all other options.

At the end of that process the group will appoint FRP
Advisory as administrators who will carry out the necessary
restructuring of the wider business.

“Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months
extremely difficult. This situation has grown worse in recent
weeks as we have had to deal with a series of false rumours
about our payments and trading which have impacted our credit
insurance," said Chief Executive Steve Simpson.

"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."

Britain's non-food retailers, already struggling with high
rents and business taxes, tight margins and online competition,
have been hammered by the pandemic. Hundreds of store closures
and thousands of job losses have already been announced.

Already weak players such as Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Oasis
Warehouse and Cath Kidston have all fallen into administration.
(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru and James Davey in London,
Editing by Aditya Soni, Kirsten Donovan)

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