Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), which last week acquired Peacocks, is considering re-opening dozens of it’s new asset’s closed stores.
As many as 388 Peacocks stores were saved when EWM bought the company out of administration, but a further 224 of its shops closed and more than 3,000 jobs were lost in one of the biggest loses to the high street in several years.
According to a report from The Sunday Times yesterday however, as many as 75 of Peacock’s former outlets which were not part of the original deal could yet be saved by EWM.
Negotiations with landlords are being conducted by EWM in an attempt to improve rental terms for the stores in question..
Philip Day, owner of EWM, told The Sunday Times: “A lot of the 224 stores that closed were blindingly unprofitable so we don’t want to re-open those, but if we get the right sort of deals we could re-open 75 of them.
“We will look to go to monthly rents and get a rent reduction. If we can get new lease deals we’ll try to re-open those shops.”
EWM is privately owned by Day and operates more than 1,200 shops across the UK under several different fascias, including the Jane Norman stores it bought out of administration last year.
Along with trying to save additional stores from the former Peacocks portfolio, Day is also interested in re-hiring many of those made redundant as a consequence of the administration process at the clothing retailer’s head office.
“We need to rebuild the team,” Day said.
“I would like to save as many jobs as I can – the economic situation is bad enough and we could do without more people going on the dole.”