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Austin Reed staff found out about job losses ‘through social media’

Most Austin Reed staff reportedly found out about the retailer closing its stores for good through social media.

Austin Reed on Regent Street


Earlier this week administrators AlixPartners confirmed that companies owned by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group bought the Austin Reed name and its stock, but 1,000 jobs are set to be lost after administrators failed to find a buyer for the stores.

One employee told City AM that 80% of staff found out about it on social media and were “given no warning”.

A spokesman from AlixPartners told the newspaper: “We addressed the managers [on Tuesday] morning, and there was a communication plan in place. But social media just blows everything out of the water.

“We told people: this is delicate and difficult and unfortunate matter, and we’d like people to keep things confidential. But if someone decides they are not going to that - there’s nothing we can do. Unfortunately, it was out of our control.”

Five Austin Reed concessions within Boundary Mills outlet villages have been sold to AR Operations Limited and 28 employees will be transferred to this company, which is owned by The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.

The Austin Reed and Country Casuals brands have been sold to fellow Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group company Border IP Limited. The administrators have not yet disclosed the fate of Austin Reed Group’s other brand, Viyella.

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