York shop launches closing down sale – the day after owner revealed it was fighting for survival

The signs in the window of Peacocks in Acomb. Photograph: Gavin Aitchison
10 Oct 2020 @ 6.09 pm
| Shopping

These signs have gone up in the window of a long-established York shop.

Peacocks, on Front Street in Acomb, has launched a closing down sale.

The fashion retailer is part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, which revealed it was close to collapse yesterday (Friday).

The shop on Front Street on Saturday

It is appointing administrators to look for potential buyers to shore up the struggling business.

The group, which also owns the Jaeger chain, employs more than 24,000 people.

As well as the Peacocks shop, there is an Edinburgh Woollen Mill store on Shambles, and a Jaeger shop in St Helen’s Square.

The Shambles shop is closed, with a message on the door from lockdown days saying it would reopen in the near future.

Jaeger reopened with limited hours, closing at 4pm each day.

Normal trading ‘impossible’

Edinburgh Woollen Mill on Shambles. Photograph: YorkMix

In its statement, EWM said all its stores “will continue trading” but, at according to the signs, Peacocks in Acomb looks destined to go.

EWM chief executive Steve Simpson said: “Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months extremely difficult.

“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.

Jaeger on St Helen’s Square, York. Photograph: YorkMix

“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.

“As directors we have a duty to the business, our staff, our customers and our creditors to find the very best solution in this brutal environment.

“So we have applied to court today for a short breathing space to assess our options before moving to appoint administrators.

“Through this process I hope and believe we will be able to secure the best future for our businesses, but there will inevitably be significant cuts and closures as we work our way through this.”