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Exclusive: Edinburgh Woollen Mill 'ends business' with House of Fraser

House of Fraser supplier Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) is pulling all its stock, including own-brand House of Fraser ranges it manufactures, out of the department stores after negotiations with its owner, Sports Direct, collapsed, Drapers can reveal.

EWM, which runs concessions for Berwin & Berwin, Jaeger, Jane Norman and Calvetron Brands within HoF, has announced that stock will be removed from stores today and tomorrow, with vans secheduled to arrive and liaise with concessions staff in the coming hours.

A spokesman for EWM said: “The group has ended business with House of Fraser. This decision was not taken lightly and follows a period of extended and sustained negotiations with House of Fraser.

“Our brands have a long history with House of Fraser, and we worked hard to try to secure a satisfactory arrangement. But sadly we have not been able to agree future trading terms that give us confidence in the security and continuity of the House of Fraser business.

“We have been forced to close our concessions in House of Fraser, and are currently in the process of withdrawing stock. Berwin & Berwin will also no longer supply any House of Fraser own-brand menswear.

“We remain firmly open to discussions with House of Fraser, and hope they will engage with us.

“We have also received a firm guarantee from the top management of Sports Direct that all sales since the takeover will be paid in full on 10 September, and anticipate that that guarantee will be honoured.”

The decision by EWM to pull out of House of Fraser comes as Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct holds a series of meetings with HoF suppliers to determine the terms of any new business.

In an email earlier this week EWM told staff “to prepare” for the event of a collapse in talks, and sent instructions on how stock would be removed.

The 12-point plan stated that “all stock must be packaged by brand and clearly labelled with which store the stock has come from”. 

“All confidential/personnel data must be retained by the manager and taken off the premises.

“Thirty-plus boxes will be provided by the vehicle coming to collect your stock for the flat-packed products, however, please use any available in store for now.

“Any customer hold items that have not been paid for are to be returned with your concession stock.”

Sports Direct has been contacted for comment.


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