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Edinburgh Woollen Mill eyes a further 75 closed Peacocks stores

More stores could be saved by the new owner of Peacocks, as Edinburgh Woollen Mill seeks to reopen 75 more stores that were closed last week.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which bought Peacocks out of administration on Wednesday, acquired 388 stores and concessions in the deal but 224 stores not bought in the deal were closed the same day.

According to the Sunday Times, chief executive Philip Day said: “A lot of the 244 stores that closed were blindingly unprofitable so we don’t want to reopen those, but if we get the right sort of deals we could reopen 75 of them.

“We will look to go to monthly rents and get a rent reduction. If we can get new lease deals, we’ll try to reopen those shops.”

Day said he is also hoping to re-employ around 80 of the 265 head office staff made redundant during the administration process. The acquisition saved 6,000 jobs, but also resulted in 3,100 job losses, predominantly across the stores.

“We need to rebuild the team,” he added. “I would like to save as many jobs as I can – the economic situation is bad enough and we could do without more people going on the dole.”

It is understood Edinburgh Woollen Mill is continuing to seek more retail acquisitions, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Peacocks collapsed in January as its banks walked away from a rescue deal led by former chief executive Richard Kirk.

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