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Edinburgh Woollen Mill Collapses Into Administration

After weeks on insolvency watch, Edinburgh Woollen Mill has officially collapsed into administration.

Parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM Group), which includes Jaeger, value department store chain Peacocks, and other fashion brands is not part of the insolvency. EWM Group last month filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

Last month EWM Group owner Philip Day obtained a now-lapsed 10-day extension to connect with potential buyers. Day is expected to petition the High Court for another 10-day extension in a bid to finalize a pre-packaged arrangement for Jaeger and Peacocks.

Day is believed to be negotiating with U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner on an investment to save Peacocks,  including Bonmarche. Jaeger, which encompasses the Jacques Vert and Austin Reed brands, has drawn attention from potential buyers including Torque Brands, which recently acquired shirt-maker TM Lewin, and Fraser Group CEO Mike Ashley. However, the future of the Scottish knitwear brand had been in doubt.

Homewares retailer Ponden Homes also collapsed into administration, for which Tony Wright and Alastair Massey of FRP were named joint administrators. The insolvency cut 750 jobs at Edinburgh and 116 at Ponden.

Edinburgh, which operates 380 stores and employs roughly 2,500 staff, had been speculated as most likely to get shut down.Though the company was said to be performing well prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Edinburgh has seen its mature, tourist-heavy demographic recede in the wake of lockdowns and travel restrictions.