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Edinburgh Woollen Mill readies relaunch of Austin Reed

Edinburgh Woollen Mill is readying a relaunch of the Austin Reed brand it bought out of administration earlier this year by reinstating its website and installing Charles Lassman to lead new product development.

Austin reed

Austin reed

Austin Reed

EWM bought the Austin Reed name, its stock and five concessions in Boundary Mill Stores at the end of May through a new firm called AR Operations, after the Austin Reed Group collapsed earlier this year.

One source indicated Lassman is taking up the role of product director, but the notoriously private EWM did not respond to Drapers’ request for confirmation.

Lassman has been working as a consultant since September 2014 and was previously general manager for global product at Gieves & Hawkes from April 2010 and general manager for sourcing at Li & Fung from March 2009 to April 2010.

The website, which relaunched in the past couple of days, is currently offering 30% off all men’s and women’s suits and formalwear, which Drapers understands is stock held by the firm before it collapsed.

Drapers exclusively revealed that Austin Reed Group 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.

AlixPartners was appointed as administrator to the Austin Reed Group 11 days later. The firm cited cash flow problems arising from “challenging retail market conditions”.

AR Operations did not respond to requests for a comment. 


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