Edinburgh Woollen Mill confirmed as Jaeger’s mystery buyer

EWM restructure

Philip Day, owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, has confirmed his company bought the rights to Jaeger amid the announcement of the launch of its new department store.

The first Days department store Launched in Wales late last week, selling all the brands owned by Day’s group.

His first eponymous Days department store opened in the former BHS site in Carmarthen, Wales, with another 50 stores reportedly in the works.

Plans for new branches to open shortly in Newcastle and Bedford fly in the face of predictions that department stores are on their death bed following the demise of BHS.

READ MORE:  Jaeger suppliers prepare to sue ex-owners

Day also confirmed on Sunday that Edinburgh Woollen Mill was the mystery buyer who purchased the debt and trademark of failed fashion retailer Jaeger, which will now be sold alongside Austin Reed, Peacocks, Jane Norman and Country Casuals at the department store.

He also stated that further purchases of struggling fashion brands could be made in the future.

“Sometimes, lots of things all come at the same time, and I think 2017 is going to be one of those years,” he told the Sunday Times.

The move to purchase the rights to Jaeger has been heavily criticised by its suppliers  who were reported last week to be considering legal action against its former owners.

Clothing supplier Calvalex’s boss César Araújo said:  “We were very disappointed with this situation and question the thinking behind selling the intellectual property of the Jaeger brand name before the company went into administration since without it the value to potential bidders would be greatly reduced.”

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  1. The demise of BHS certainly does not emphasise a similar downward route for department stores. BHS was never a department store but a ‘multiple’ store selling own developed label, ‘brand’ merchandise, with a few High Street concessions.

    True department stores like Harrods, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser sell genuine brands with (sometimes) a relatively insignificant show of own label. Of course, these department stores would like to realise the higher margin from private label. But true brands are the essence of true department stores and the latter realise this fact. Brands invest in marketing to achieve consumer awareness. You don’t get brand awareness without investment.

    I entirely agree with Jaeger supplier boss, César Araújo, that the Jaeger name should not have been sold off before Administration. I know for a fact that there was an interested party in the wings to transform Jaeger based on heritage and quality.

    Philip Day deserves credit for getting both the Jaeger and Austin Reed brand names. I am sure they will serve him well. But I fear, over time, these brands will become vehicles to sell quantity merchandise and lose the quality value for which Jaeger and Austin Reed are so well known.

  2. As an avid Jaeger buyer it has been very disappointing to find out how Jaeger’s demise came about, and the lack of good faith towards providers to the company by selling the brand name before going into administration. Edinburgh wooden mills is the sort of place I have never found a single item to purchase. It comes across as an outlet store with very little inherent style in presentation or service. In the absence of Jaeger and Austin Reed all my purchases will now been focused on Hobbs. As a non expert my opinion is that it must be difficult for a venture capitalist to run a business like Jaeger successfully without relevant high level skill. M and S still struggles with that as a non luxury brand.
    Sad really.


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