(Bloomberg) — Philip Day’s retailers, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home, have gone into administration after lockdowns from the pandemic dented sales and businesses struggled to stay afloat in the lead up to Christmas.
More than 850 staff have been made redundant, with 56 EWM and eight Ponden Home stores and concessions closed in recent weeks, according to a statement from administrators FRP Advisory Group Ltd. The firm was appointed Thursday to try and secure a sale of the businesses.
“Both businesses were trading well prior to the Covid-19 pandemic,” FRP said in the statement. “Lockdown restrictions and low consumer confidence and footfall of core customer demographics, including senior shoppers and international tourists, had a significant impact on trading performance.”
The shops are the latest in a string of retailers facing mass redundancies after pandemic measures dealt a blow to sales this year. J Sainsbury Plc is planning to cut 3,000 jobs, while John Lewis Partnership Plc said Wednesday that it will cut another 1,500 roles as it seeks to restore profitability. Close to 125,000 jobs were lost in the U.K. retail sector in the first eight months of the year, the Centre for Retail Research said in September.
The Telegraph first reported the collapses on Friday.
EWM, a Carlisle, Scotland-based knitwear and homeware retailer, has 384 stores across the U.K., with 2,571 staff, while Ponden Home, which sells homeware and furniture, has 73 stores and 329 employees. Other subsidiaries of the EWM Group, including Jaeger and Peacocks, are not part of the administration, according to FRP.
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