Jobs under threat at Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s two Borders outlets

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh.The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh.
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh.
More Borders jobs hang in the balance this morning after Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which has outlets in Melrose and Jedburgh, lodged a notice of intention to appoint administrators with the High Court.

The company, which owns the Jaeger, Peacocks and Ponden Home brands, hopes potential buyers will shore up the business after sales were badly hit by Covid-19 lockdowns.

The move by the Carlisle-based company, which employs more than 24,000 people across the UK, will see insolvency specialists at FRP spend 10 days carrying out an urgent review ahead of further action.

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All stores will continue trading and further details will be announced in due course, the company added, but significant changes are expected.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief executive Steve Simpson said: “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.

“Traditionally, EWM has always traded with strong cash reserves and a conservative balance sheet, but these stories, the reduction in credit insurance, against the backdrop of the lockdown and now this second wave of Covid-19, and all the local lockdowns, have made normal trading impossible.

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“As directors we have a duty to the business, our staff, our customers and our creditors to find the very best solution in this brutal environment.

“So we have applied to court today for a short breathing space to assess our options before moving to appoint administrators.

“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.

“I would like to thank all our staff for their amazing efforts during this time and also our customers who have remained so loyal and committed to our brands.”

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A spokesman for the FRP Advisory group in Edinburgh 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 Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jaeger, Ponden Home, and Peacocks.”

Borders MP John Lamont, said: “This is very concerning news, and not just for Jedburgh.

“Edinburgh Woollen Mill is a big employer right across the UK, as well as owning several other retail brands such as Ponden Home and Jaeger.

“I understand that the company has made contact with their staff this morning which I welcome ... it is important that staff are always made aware of any information first.

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“There have been a number of very difficult news stories for jobs in the Borders this year and it is disappointing to see another potential loss.

“I sincerely hope that the administrators are not needed, but if they are, I will make sure that I make contact with them to ensure their employees are receiving the support they need.”

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