Peacocks and Jaeger collapse, with 4,700 jobs and 500 stores at risk

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·2 min read
Peacocks has now followed its parent company EWM (Edinburgh Woollen Mill) into administration. Photo: Keith Mayhew/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images
Peacocks has now followed its parent company EWM (Edinburgh Woollen Mill) into administration. Photo: Keith Mayhew/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images

Peacocks and Jaeger have both fallen into administration, after their parent company failed to find a buyer for the fashion chains.

The move leaves more than 4,700 staff and almost 500 stores hanging in the balance, with the companies the latest in a string of high street brands to collapse this year. No job losses were announced on Thursday, however.

Administrators confirmed a two-week deadline to find a buyer had passed without success.

“In recent weeks we have had constructive discussions with a number of potential buyers for Peacocks and Jaeger Ltd but the continuing deterioration of the retail sector due to the impact of the pandemic and second lockdown have made this process longer and more complex than we would have hoped,” a spokesperson for parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) told PA.

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The company’s directors were therefore making the “desperately difficult decision” to place the firms in administration as talks continue in a bid to find buyers.

Tony Wright of FRP Advisory, joint administrator of the business, said in a statement shared with Yahoo Finance UK: “Jaeger and Peacocks are attractive brands that have suffered the well-known challenges that many retailers face at present.

“We are in advanced discussions with a number of parties and working hard to secure a future for both businesses.”

It comes after their EWM, owned by high street tycoon Philip Day, itself went into administration earlier in November. About 866 jobs were slashed at the parent company and at Pondem Homes as a result.

The latest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Wales are said to have hampered discussions of the sale of Peacocks, with the firm’s headquarters and distribution centre based in Cardiff.

EWM, which is based in Langholm, Scotland, was founded in 1947 and is owned by businessman Philip Day. The high street billionaire’s empire also includes Austin Reed, Jacques Vert and Jane Norman.

FRP Advisory and EWM have been approached for comment.

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