Help! Edinburgh Woollen Mill on the brink while Pizza Express slash jobs and sites as close to 3,000 restaurants have shut up shop this year

Help! Edinburgh Woollen Mill on the brink while Pizza Express slash jobs and sites as close to 3,000 restaurants have shut up shop this year

With more than one and half million unemployed and predictions that could double that figure by next year the UK is in a crisis not seen in a generation. Hospitality, retailing and the travel industry are some of the biggest casualties with a knock on effect hitting everyone from printers to taxi firms and office cleaners to paper merchants. But ICSM Credit exists to help businesses to stay in credit and to fight late payers and make sure its members get paid – even if it means court action. For every Monsoon and Victoria’s Secret that enters administration thousands of suppliers are left unpaid. The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group will only add to that list.

Another 24,000 jobs in danger

The Retail Gazette’s Elias Jahshan has reported that the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has been given a 10-day extension to avoid collapse. He reported: “Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has been granted a further 10 working days to speak to potential suitors and work on a rescue plan. The company – which operates the eponymous Edinburgh Woollen Mill alongside Jaeger and Peacocks and several other facias – said earlier this month that it would go bust without filing for an intention to appoint administrators with the High Court, with 24,000 jobs in the balance. Since then, bosses have started closing 50 stores with 600 job losses, while they work through securing backing for the rest of the business.”

He said that according to a memo seen by the PA news agency, there is interest in parts of the business, understood to be the Peacocks and Jaeger brands. Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and TM Lewin parent company Torque Brands have been among those to have expressed interest in taking over Jaeger. Philip Day, the retail mogul who owns Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, is also reported to be trying to save Peacocks, with a capital injection from US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.

“However, it is understood a further 100 to 150 stores across the company are being earmarked for closure while talks continue with landlords. Discussions on the sale of the Peacocks brand were also hit by lockdown restrictions in Wales, as Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group’s headquarters and distribution centre are based in Cardiff.”

Pizza shrinks

Pizza Hut and Starbucks have already closed more than 1,800 outlets this year as the Covid-19 regulations bite. Now Pizza Express have announced more closures and 1,300 more jobs to go having already shut 73 restaurants and let go 1,100 staff.

The BBC reported: “Pizza Express went through a restructuring in the summer to cut its rental costs, which led to the first volley of job cuts and closed venues.

The company, which began with one restaurant in London's SoHo district in 1965, is majority-owned by Chinese investor Hony Capital, which bought it for £900m in 2014.”

This year TGI Fridays closed 75 outlets, Steak’n Shake shut 51 restaurants, Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation locked up 97 sites, Denny’s closed 16 restaurants, Brio and Bravo saw 71 restaurants closed, the Speciality’s Bakery and Café shut up 33 places, Ruby Tuesday saw 147 sites go dark, Le Pain Quatidian closed down 63 of their 98 outlets and even McDonalds are set to close 200 sites.

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