Edinburgh Woollen Mills is to take on 33 Jane Norman stores

Edinburgh Woollen Mills is to take on 33 Jane Norman stores

Administrators for collapsed fashion retail chain Jane Norman have sold 33 of its 94 stores to fellow retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mills – but more than 1,000 jobs at the company remain at risk.

The pre-packaged administration sale followed on the heels of the appointment of Zolfo Cooper as administrators yesterday (27 June) for the business, hit by tough trading conditions and rising debts.

The sale to EWM also includes stock from the 94 stand-alone stores, 95 concessions in Debenhams shops and a number of overseas concessions.

Zolfo Cooper said it had also negotiated a transitional services agreement with EWM for another 28 stores and a number of concessions, giving all parties time to consider their future.

Meanwhile, the Debenhams concessions will continue to be traded for the time being, with a view to securing their sale as well.

The deal means that 33 stores will be closed, with only 396 jobs out Jane Norman’s total workforce of about 1,600 definitely secured.

Zolfo Cooper said “a number of jobs” at head office and in the company’s warehouse would be kept on for the moment to help with the completion of the sale and the closure of other operations.

“It has been an exacting time for the company, which has a substantial amount of debt,” said Alastair Beveridge, partner at Zolfo Cooper and one of the joint administrators.

“We are pleased to have ensured the survival of such a familiar presence on the high street, while securing the jobs of at least 366 Jane Norman employees.

“Unfortunately, the sale has resulted in job losses, which we appreciate is difficult news for those involved.”