Jobs at risk as Edinburgh Woollen Mill goes into administration

Closing down sale signs at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Closing down sale signs at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Norwich. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Thousands of jobs are at risk after Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home stores went into administration, placing question marks over the future of stores in Norfolk.

Ponden Homes in Dereham. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

Ponden Homes in Dereham. Picture: Abigail Nicholson - Credit: Archant

Closing down sale signs appeared in the window of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill store in London Street in Norwich last month and administrators FRP have confirmed that 56 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores have now permanently closed.

The remaining 328 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 65 Ponden Homes stores will keep trading, Covid-19 restrictions permitting, while a buyer is sought.

Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Dereham, Framingham Pigot (in Highways garden centre), Thetford, Lowestoft and Beccles all had Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores.

On Friday, 866 jobs were lost across the two chains and a further 1,821 jobs put at risk.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Thetford. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “Recent months have proven extremely challenging for many retailers, even those that were trading well before the pandemic, including the teams at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home.


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“The administrations will provide some further protection while we continue our search for buyers to secure the long-term futures for both businesses.

“Regrettably, the impact of Covid-19 on the brands’ core customer base and tighter restrictions on trading mean that the current structure of the businesses is unsustainable and has resulted in redundancies.”

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Separately, EWM Group - owned by businessman Philip Day - has been granted a further two-week extension by the High Court to continue discussions with potential suitors for its other brands Peacocks and Jaeger.

Closing down sale signs appeared at the Peacocks and Ponden Homes stores in Dereham last month.

The retailer said last month it would go bust if it did not go into administration.

A spokesman for EWM Group said: “Over the past month we explored all possible options to save Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home from going into administration, but unfortunately the ongoing trading conditions caused by the pandemic and lockdowns proved too much.

“In the case of Peacocks and Jaeger we are speaking to a number of parties.”

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