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Who owns the high street: Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group

Includes Peacocks, Austin Reed, Jane Norman, Jaeger

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM), the retail empire of the famously private entrepreneur Philip Day, is one of the high street’s most acquisitive names, known for snapping up struggling brands.

An early deal came in 2001, when Day was part of private equity firm Rutland Partners’ takeover of knitwear business Edinburgh Woollen Mill. 

He bought out Rutland the following year and added young fashion chain Jane Norman in 2011, and collapsed retailer Peacocks in 2012. EWM bought the Austin Reed name, which included womenswear brands Country Casuals and Viyella, and stock in 2016. 

It added the Jaeger brand name and debt to its portfolio in April 2016, and last month bought suitmaker Berwin & Berwin out of administration, saving 800 jobs. In May last year, Day launched Days Department Store in Carmarthen, Wales.



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