Edinburgh Woollen Mill jobs will be lost in Suffolk

Ponden Home store in Felixstowe

Ponden Home store in Felixstowe isn't included in the rescue package - Credit: Google Maps

A Suffolk-based store won't be part of a rescue package set to save hundreds of jobs across Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home stores.

Ponden Home store in Felixstowe will not transfer over to new owners Purepay after it agreed to take on brand owners The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd - which owns the high street knitwear chain - and Duvetco Ltd - which owns Ponden Home stores - after they collapsed into administration.

It has bought 246 stores under licence from across both brands. Their stores and 1,347 store staff will transfer to Purepay, along with all 72 head office and 34 distribution staff.

But the remaining 85 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 34 Ponden Home stores will remain permanently closed, with the loss of 358 jobs and 127 jobs respectively.

But staff at Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores in Woodbridge, Colchester and Thetford will be breathing a sigh of relief after the outlets were included in the rescue deal put together by administrators at business advisory firm FRP.

Jaeger Retail and Peacocks Stores - which also formed part of billionaire businessman Philip Day's retail empire - remain in administration. However, high street retailer Marks and Spencer has announced that it is buying the Jaeger brand.

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Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Ipswich closed for good last year. Ponden Home in Newmarket has also already closed, an FRP spokesman confirmed, as high streets go into meltdown amid the coronavirus crisis.

Changing shopping patterns  have also contributed to the high street crisis as increasing numbers of shoppers choose to purchase goods online.

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Joint administrators Tony Wright and Alastair Massey, partners at business advisory firm FRP, were appointed Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Duvetco on November 5, 2020.

Mr Wright said: “We have extensively marketed these businesses for sale and this transaction provides the best chance to save stores and jobs, but also meet our own statutory obligations to creditors.

“However, with such little visibility on future trading conditions in UK retail, we regret that not all of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home could be rescued.

"This has resulted in a significant number of redundancies at a particularly challenging time of year and period of economic uncertainty. We have a team working hard to support all those affected as we help make applications for redundancy payments.”

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