The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd stores in Keswick and Penrith have met with different fates following the announcement that the knitwear and homeware retailer has gone into administration.
The store in Keswick’s Main Street is to remain open, despite “closing down sale” signs, while the outlet in Penrith’s Market Square will close, according to administrators.
The Pitlochry in Lakeland shop in Keswick’s Museum Square, which is a subsidiary of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, will also close.
It follows the announcement earlier this month that Carlisle-based Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd and Duvetco Ltd (Ponden Home) have been placed in administration.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill had 384 stores across the UK and employed 2,571 staff.
Ponden Home is a homeware, curtains, bedding and furniture retailer which had 73 stores and employed 329 staff.
Both businesses were trading well prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 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.
In recent weeks, prior to administration, Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and eight Ponden Home stores and concessions were permanently closed.
On appointment of the administrators — specialist business advisory firm FRP — 750 roles at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and 116 at Ponden Home were made redundant.
The companies will continue to trade online and in-store, subject to the respective national lockdown restrictions.
The administrators were appointed following efforts by management to secure a solvent sale of both businesses.<\!p>
Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “Recent months have proven extremely challenging for many retailers, even those that were trading well before the pandemic, including the teams at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home.
“The administrations will provide some further protection while we continue our search for buyers to secure the long-term futures for both businesses.
“Regrettably, the impact of COVID-19 on the brands’ core customer base and tighter restrictions on trading mean that the current structure of the businesses is unsustainable and has resulted in redundancies. We are working with all affected members of staff to provide the appropriate support.”
EWM Group and its other subsidiaries, including Jaeger and Peacocks, are not part of the administration.