‘No decision’ on which EWM stores are saved

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A total of 246 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 1,453 jobs have been saved.

But despite some reports strongly suggesting Chalmers and McCaig’s Warehouse are among those to be saved, a spokesman said the new owners are continuing to ‘talk to landlords’ and that decisions on individual stores ‘have not yet been made’.

There has been no official confirmation provided to The Oban Times of whether the two outlets in town are among those in the rescue package.

Purepay Retail Limited, backed by an international investor consortium purchased the businesses from specialist business advisory firm FRP.

FRP was appointed as Joint Administrators for the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group on November 5. The neighbouring EWM shop to Chalmers in Oban closed for good on Monday October 26.

Purepay will operate 246 stores under licence with 1,347 store staff transferring alongside 72 head office staff and 34 distribution staff.

A remaining 85 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores and 34 Ponden Home stores have been permanently closed, said FRP.

That means redundancies for 358 Edinburgh Woollen Mill staff and 127 at Ponden Home.

Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: ‘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.’

Before Christmas, a notice was placed in the window of Chalmers.

The notice placed in the window of Chalmers before Christmas 2020.