A letter from the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group of companies (EWM) informing staff that “Now this second wave of Covid-19, and all the local lockdowns, have made normal trading impossible.”

Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief executive in a letter to staff said: “Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months extremely difficult.

The annoucntment leaves staff at the Bonmarche and Peacocks stores in The Mall Maidstone facing uncertainty around their futures.

EWM the parent company Bonmarche and Peacocks of called in the administrators following a touch start to 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is hoped administrators are able to find a deal to save the company.

The Maidstone stores have already started closing down sales.

Staff at the Peacocks store in The Mall shopping centre in Maidstone said they were “still hopeful that a deal might be found that would save their jobs”.

It is understood, Philip Day, the majority shareholder in EWM, has announced that he is looking to buy Peacocks from the administrators with help from an American private equity fund Davidson Kempner.

Philip Day
CEO of Edinburgh Woollen Mill

Meanwhile, Bonmarche, the women’s wear fashion retailer, which too has a store in The Mall, has also begun a closing down sale. The Bonmarche chain is also owned by Mr Day, but is outside the EWM portfolio. It was only bought out of administration by Mr Day in February after administrators were called in by the previous owners last November. There have been no recent announcement about the future of Bonmarche.

The group also owns the Jaeger, Austin Reed and Ponden Home brands.