The suspense is over!
As per media reports, struggling British retailers Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) and Bonmarché have been sold to global investment consortium Purepay Retail Limited. The deal also includes the sale of Ponden Home.
The sale would now mean closure of all EWM, Bonmarché and Ponden Home stores – consequently hitting hundreds of jobs.
Reportedly, Purepay Retail Limited, which is a secured creditor of the business, has bought all the remaining stock of EWM and Ponden Home. The acquisition also included the head office site and distribution centre in Carlisle.
Notably, 85 EWM and 34 Ponden Home stores have been closed forever thereby hitting the jobs of 358 EWM employees and 127 Ponden Home employees.
Purepay Retail Limited will also run 72 of Bonmarché stores under licence, while 387 of store staff will be shifted to the acquirer along with 93 distribution centre and 51 head office employees.
Around 148 more stores are shut as per Government rules and administration is closely reviewing all options for these stores before lockdown is lifted. The employees of these stores are presently furloughed.
So, the deal has finally happened, but it has also resulted in huge job losses especially in these times of economic uncertainty.
One has to now wait and see if anything is done to help all those who have been impacted by job redundancies.