Edinburgh Woollen Mill pulls all House of Fraser concessions

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Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has closed all of its concessions in House of Fraser stores as the department store’s troubled acquisition continues.

According to Drapers, an internal email sent over the weekend asked EWM staff to “ensure that no goods/products are sold” at any of its House of Fraser concessions.

Though the motivations and details of the move are not yet known, it is understood that EWM’s Philip Day had attempted but failed to reach a deal with its new owner Mike Ashley.

Its concessions, which include Jane Norman, Jaeger and Jacques Vert, have subsequently been temporarily pulled until an agreement is reached.

This follows a tumultuous takeover process since Ashley bought the department store out of administration last month for £90 million.

Suppliers are reportedly owed millions by the embattled department store including XPO Logistics, the firm which runs its main distribution centre in Wellingborough, which is owed £30.4 million.

Since the takeover XPO has ordered workers to stop accepting goods and processing deliveries over the pay dispute, leading to House of Fraser’s website being pulled and all orders and deliveries being cancelled.

EWM is also in discussions with House of Frasers landlords with a view to buying some of the stores due to close, aiming to convert them into Days department stores.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill declined to comment at this stage.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Err, I think you should make clear that it is the OLD HoF that went into administration that owes the money, not Sports Direct who bought the assets out of administration. Ashley doesn’t owe them a penny. And as for getting rid of these brands, I doubt they’ll be missed.

  2. I don’t think Mike Ashley is that bothered. He already had lots of brands to fill HOF with. The luxury brands, the ones he DOESN’T own he will try to keep sweet but by consolidating all his brands into HOF rather than independent shops he will make huge savings. He doesn’t need a second logistics company or head office, they are the first to be shut down or contracts not renewed on.

    Soon he will close stores and move them into HOF it makes business sense. XPO wont have their contract renewed maybe even sued for not fulfilling orders. I am not defending Ashley here but he has saved a lot of jobs from going on the dole and although job losses are still likely it will be significantly less than if HOF had gone into liquidation.

  3. On it’s own not a great problem for HoF, as part of a larger trend involving suppliers and brands, could be an issue to watch.

  4. Erm… Jacques Vert (calvetron brands) is not owned by Day in its concession format- only e-commerce is owned by EWM. The concessions are closing because the parts he hasn’t purchased are in administration and HOF notice periods are ending so concessions are closing!

  5. I would be interested to see how E&Y justify rejecting a higher bid of £100 mil from EWM and an offer that would have seen all creditors paid as well, prepacks are being abused beyond their original purpose

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