Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) Group is preparing to launch a new department store concept in the former BHS unit in Carmarthen, South Wales, in April, Drapers understands.
Equorium Property – previously EWM Property Company until October 2015 – part of the EWM Group, has submitted a planning application to Carmarthenshire County Council for a 16,900 sq ft store at 2-5 Guildhall Square.
The application is for “Days Department Store”. EWM Group is owned by Philip Day.
The application details the installation of a new shopfront and entrance, the redecoration of upper areas of the front elevation, and new signage.
The plans do not specify which of EWM Group’s brands, which include Peacocks, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jane Norman, Ponden Home Stores and Austin Reed, will feature in the department store.
However, a job advert posted by the group said: “This department store will feature the brands of one of the fastest-growing retail groups in the UK, which has ambitious growth plans. We will be opening in April 2017 with a two-floor retail department store embracing fashion, home, premium brands and a new concept restaurant, all under one roof.”
In November, the group said it plans to open 200 new stores over the next 18 months for its various fascias, including around 50 for the Austin Reed brand, which it bought out of administration in May last year.
EWM Group opened 43 new stores in the UK and Ireland for the year to 28 February 2016, when sales rose 2.4% to £576.3m and profit before tax and exceptional items also increased by 2.4% to £90.9m.
The group now operates more than 980 standalone stores across the UK, as well as concessions and ecommerce sites.
At the time the results were published, group commercial director Steve Simpson said the company had a strong balance sheet and was debt free, and so would continue to look for new acquisitions: “We are always ready to take advantage of any further opportunities through acquisitions, as and when they may arise.”
Drapers has contacted EWM Group for comment on the department store plans.