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Edinburgh Woollen Mill 'in final stages' to buy Austin Reed brand

Edinburgh Woollen Mill is in the final stages of buying the Austin Reed brand but will not take the bulk of the retailer’s shops as part of the deal, sources have told Drapers.  

A source close to the situation confirmed that discussions had reached final stages but Drapers understands Edinburgh Woollen Mill only wants the Austin Reed brand, stock and five concessions at Boundary Mill outlet villages in the north of England, rather than its full store portfolio.

”This shows the business is a lot more broken than we all recognised and it [the administration] should have happened 12-18 months ago,” said a separate menswear industry source. “The Austin Reed name will disappear from the high street in its current form, which is very sad.”

Austin Reed Group, which comprises men’s and women’s tailoring business Austin Reed, and womenswear retailers CC and Viyella, was bought by Alteri Investors on April 15, just over a year after the retailer entered into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and closed more than 30 underperforming stores.

It collapsed into administration on April 26, putting around 1,184 jobs at risk.

The CC brand is also expected to survive, sources told The Telegraph, although it is not yet clear if it will be rescued by Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

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