// Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group makes 100 redundancies due to coronavirus crisis
// A spokesperson says this is a “small number” for the company, which employs 25,000
// Philip Day-owned company has also placed a temporary ban on recruitment and warned remaining staff on 50% pay cut
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has reportedly made around 100 redundancies across the business as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
While the firm would not confirm an exact number of redundancies, a spokesperson did say the “small number” affected head office and business function roles across the Philip Day-owned empire – which employs around 25,000 across retail chains such as Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed, and the eponymous Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
In addition, some of the redundancies affect people who had received job offers, and it is understood the company has placed a temporary ban on further recruitment as well as warning remaining staff that they may face a 50 per cent pay cut in the weeks to come.
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Like many other fashion retailers, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in terms of footfall.
“Like many other high-street retailers, we are currently experiencing a significant reduction in footfall on the high street,” a spokesperson for Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group told Retail Gazette.
“This collapse in footfall has especially affected our core over-60s customers, who have been explicitly told to self-isolate and stay at home by the government.
“To prepare effectively today we opened a consultation with our employees about moving to flexible working hours from next week as a way to ensure that we can limit the impact on the business, the team and, most importantly of all, safeguard as many jobs as possible.
“This suggestion was discussed with all our employees today, and was unanimously agreed.
“We have not taken any final decisions about whether we will move to reduced working hours yet as this is a very changeable and fast-moving policy environment, and we are watching both the high street and government closely.
“We are following all the government announcements closely to find the best way to support our team.
“Sadly, as part of these preparations, we have also made a small number of redundancies across the group, where people have been very recently hired or were due to start very soon.
“We have also put a ban on further recruitment in the business, as we work towards safeguarding as many jobs as possible.”