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24,000 jobs in danger as Peacocks and Jaeger owner faces collapse


Billionaire Philip Day’s retail empire that includes Peacocks and Jaeger is on the brink of collapse, with 24,000 jobs at risk. 

Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM), which also owns Austin Reed and Jacques Vert, is poised to appoint administrators at FRP Advisory if it fails to find a buyer for some or all of the brands. 

Mr Day’s chains, amassed over the years and often bought from previous administrations, have more than 1,000 branches between them. 

The retailer has lodged a notice of intent to appoint administrators with the High Court, which is meant to prevent creditors such as suppliers or landlords from claiming any money for 10 days before a formal appointment is made. 

Chief executive Steve Simpson said that although he hoped to secure the best future for the business, there would inevitably be significant job cuts and store closures. 

Bosses wrote to staff on Friday morning saying that the national and local lockdowns had hurt sales very heavily.

However, it mostly blamed a spat with suppliers in Bangladesh for its plight after credit insurers pulled cover and left the business exposed.  

Credit insurance protects suppliers against the risk of customers going bust between an order being placed and the payment being made. When insurers stop or withdraw cover, suppliers can demand payment up front, putting pressure on retailers and their finances. 


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