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Jaeger confirms closure of 13 stores, cutting more than 100 jobs

LaToya Harding
·3-min read

Watch: 4,700 jobs at risk as Peacocks and Jaeger go into administration

Fashion retailer Jaeger has become the latest victim to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic, confirming that it will shutter 13 stores and concessions and axe 103 jobs.

The chain said it has cut 47 in-store positions and 56 head office and distribution roles as part of the restructuring.

It comes just a week after the chain was placed into administration by billionaire tycoon Philip Day which owns parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mil and sister brand Peacocks.

The 13 affected stores have been confirmed as: Banbridge, Bideford, Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, Bourton-on-the-Water, Braintree, Bury St Edmunds, Castleford, Hatfield, Marlborough, Newcastle’s Fenwicks, Salisbury, Sterling Mills and Talke.

NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20: A man walks past a branch of Peacocks clothing store on November 20, 2020 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England. The chain is among a number of businesses to announce their closure, blaming the inability to survive the financial impact of national lockdowns and social restrictions. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
It comes just a week after the chain was placed into administration by billionaire tycoon Philip Day which owns parent company Edinburgh Woollen Mil and sister brand Peacocks. Photo: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Administrators have said they will continue to search for a buyer for the business but made the cuts as Jaeger was “unable to sustain its current structure.”

They added that Jaeger continues to have 244 staff and operate 63 stores and concessions.

Tony Wright, joint administrator of Jaeger Retail Limited and partner at FRP, said: “We continue to hold discussions with interested parties regarding a possible sale.

“Regretfully, redundancies have been made across a number of head office and store roles.

“We’re working with staff to support them and help make any claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.”

READ MORE: Jaeger and Peacocks owner on brink of collapse putting 24,000 UK jobs at risk

Previously EWM was hit by allegations that the retailer and several rivals failed to pay some Bangladeshi suppliers during lockdown in an attempt to cut costs for clothes they were unlikely to sell. The company has denied the accusations.

Chief executive Steve Simpson said of the allegations: “This situation has grown worse in recent weeks as we have had to deal with a series of false rumours about our payments and trading which have impacted our credit insurance.”

He added: “Traditionally, EWM has always traded with strong cash reserves and a conservative balance sheet, but these stories, the reduction in credit insurance, against the backdrop of the lockdown and now this second wave of COVID-19, and all the local lockdowns, have made normal trading impossible.

The closure also comes as Philip Green’s retail empire could face collapse “within days,” according to Sky News, with up to 15,000 jobs at stake.

Arcadia, which owns TopShop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Burton, Wallis and Outfit, is reportedly preparing to call in administrators as soon as next week.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed the business was working on “contingency plans” but did not directly comment on whether it was preparing for administration.

The company has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, which have hammered Arcadia’s sales.

Green had been seeking a £30m ($23m) loan to shore up the company earlier this month, but talks with potential lenders are said to have failed.

Watch: Mastercard retail advisor says ‘it’s all bout making consumers feel safe this year’