Menu
 
Home | News | Day of reckoning
 
News | 22nd October 2020
 

Day of reckoning

EWM chain’s future is in doubt if group’s owner saves Peacocks

 
 
Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief executive Philip Day, who lives at Hayton, near Carlisle. S210135.jpg
 

THE Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain may be liquidated if a buyer is not found.

Owner Philip Day is working to save value fashion retailer Peacocks and jettison the rest of the group, according to reports in trade publications this week.

EWM Group, which has Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed and Ponden Home, filed notice of its intention to appoint administrators earlier this month. This is due to expire today.

The deal means Peacocks would be acquired out of administration, with its worst-performing stores axed, led by EWM’s chief, Steve Simpson, and backed by Day.

Peacocks has about 400 stores and would be run alongside Bonmarché, the struggling womenswear retailer fashion chain which Day bought this year and sits outside the EWM group.

The group employs about 24,000 people and traded from more than 1,100 outlets before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal is contingent on Day securing a capital injection from a US hedge fund, which would take a minority stake.

If a deal can’t be struck by today, EWM will call for a 10-day extension at the High Court.

The proposed deal would not include the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain, which could be liquidated unless a buyer is found, according to Retail Gazette.

Last week EWM Group shut 50 stores, putting 600 people out of work.

Landlords criticised the administration proposals outlined by representatives.

In a letter EWM said administrators were reviewing its lease portfolio with a view to determining which stores, if any, may be “retained and/or potentially transferred by the company”.

The company later warned landlords that another 100 to 150 stores would shut imminently.

On stores, which will survive, Day has appointed property agents to hammer out new leases at vastly reduced rents.

Ratcliffes Chartered Surveyors, which manages four retail properties leased to the EWM Group, said its clients were surprised by the decision of a company which reported pre-tax profits for the year to November 2019 of £23.4m and for the half year to March 2020 of £14.7m”.

Ratcliffes’ landlord clients rejected EWM’s proposals for the stores in question.

In a letter to EWM, it said: “My clients consider that, if your hitherto very successful company is to be saved, with its stores and employees retained, the person best placed and most responsible to do that is its non-resident billionaire owner, Philip Day, by repatriating some of his tax-sheltered profits.”

Estates Gazette reported that Mr Simpson sought confirmation from landlords that they would not claim for lease liabilities during the administration process in a rent-free period, which would end only 28 days after a termination notice from the property owner if it chose to send one.

The alternative was to forfeit or surrender the lease, resulting in redundancies at each property in question.

“There is an unprecedented unanimity of views from landlords to reject EWM’s proposals,” said one landlord, who did not wish to be named.

An EWM Group spokesperson said: “Throughout this extremely tough time we have worked to be fair to our staff and all our partners, including landlords.

“The pandemic and the lockdown have forced all retailers to make difficult decisions and EWM Group is no exception.

“Our priority remains securing the survival of our businesses and saving as many jobs as possible.”

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

‘Blame the Duke’, Loki tells Langholm

By Penny Johnstone Rapper wades into buyout debate in latest…

 

Tub Turnbull’s ‘Ride Oot Bye’

By Gilly Fraser For the first time in three years,…

 

‘My boy is broken-hearted’

Lennon, 12, left devastated after ‘despicable’ thieves target his beloved…

 

Institute raises a cuppa to 100 wonderful years

Retiring president Nancy McLure welcomed members and guests to the…

 

Showing Charolais

By Gilly Fraser “The Royal Highland Show is special for…

 

Drummer Kyle kills it with Brandon & Co

Sheer delight is etched on Kyle Grieve’s face as he…

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

After torrent floods derelict church, residents unite in campaign to…

 

Leila's a vintage virtuoso!

If vintage clothes make you think of mothballs and third-hand…

 

New owners for town's 20-year Erskine eyesore

But clamour grows to tear down derelict, ‘dangerous’ High Street…

 

The blissful sound of silence

Residents celebrate after church bells are finally silenced

 

Let’s do it for Dylan!

As his mum appeals for a life-changing loo in Langholm,…

 

Pyrotechnics and parties for our marvellous monarch

Locals plan to hold a weekend of right royal celebrations

 

'I'm so glad my dad isn't here to see this'

Local opponents hit back at Tarras Valley plans

 

Ruairi to lead the way as Big Day returns at last

Langholm elects its new Cornet with 1,100 votes cast

 

Male is back as just 19 votes decide council seat

Ron Tait ousted in Ward 12 by returning independent candidate

 

Obituary to well loved lady

Tributes paid to much love

 

Last gasp lifeline for Tarras Valley project

Two month extension agreed for £450,000 needed to secure buyout

 

Butchers facing chop

Refurbishment row leads to couple’s decision to quit

 

Care village moves a step closer

£1.4m footbridge will connect new scheme to town

 

Rail group sends signal to Holyrood

New Waverley route must include Langholm say campaigners

 

Election briefing

Use your vote wisely

 

For whom does the bell actually toll?

Parishioners and minister clash over ‘intrusive’ ringing

 

Buccleuch to put 30 homes on the market

Tenants of Buccleuch Estates say they are shocked and distressed…

 

Bus driver crisis is getting serious

Transport company Borders Buses has introduced an emergency timetable after…

 

Ukrainian Hosts meet wall of silence

Generous residents frustrated with housing delays

 

Janet's in the frame for gallery as Phil steps down

By Nick Brownlee It’s the end of an era at…

 

High Noon for Eskdalemuir Marksmen

Opponents claim elite rifle range could put lives at risk

 

End of an era as Common Riding trio announce retirement

By Nick Brownlee Three stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding say…

 

Butcher's face the cruellest of cuts

Heartbreak for couple faced with closure of their High Street…

 

New lease of life for leisure centre plans

Facility would provide “huge health and wellbeing benefits for area”

 

Local plans drawn up to host Ukrainians

Polish charity will match families with hosts in Eskdale

 

"Pristine" items wanted and calls for cash donations

When the call went out last week for donations of…

 

Proud memories of Langholm's Moon Man

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Visit

 

Unmanaged vegetation is potential tinderbox

Heather Trust member expresses his concern over wildfires

 

Favourite local walk is changed forever

Gaskell’s footbridge removed over increasing safety concerns

 

Ill-considered approach

Analogue phone switch-off will leave remote communities vulnerable

 

Objections to four hour online consultation

Residents call for more time to examine rifle range scheme

 

Local Authority plans Council Tax hike of 3%

Very difficult decisions will have to be made

 

Digital donations

Young and old receive new computer equipment

 

Residents worried sick over rising prices

Politicians warn of impending cost of living crisis

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.