Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) is to return Peacocks’ product to a core offer by scaling back on fast fashion as part of plans to revive the value chain, which it bought out of administration last month.
EWM chief executive Philip Day said Peacocks had gone “too far into the fast-fashion model” and that collections would need to be “realigned to get customers back through the door”.
Day said: “There is a big difference between core fashion and [fast] fashion. Jane Norman is [fast] fashion – garments go in and come out constantly, within four weeks the top seller will become the bottom seller. That is fast fashion.
A business like Peacocks doesn’t work well with that approach.”
EWM will also review Peacocks’ exit price points, as Day feels these have become “too expensive”. Entry price points will be maintained.
He said: “The fundamental focus is the first price, which needs to be the right price and we want customers to know it is good value and added value through design.”
Head of buying Sue Swannie, who was hired in the last six months, will work closely with Day on turning product around.
Day said: “The priority has been putting the buying team back together because administrators tend to get rid of buyers and merchandisers first, but when you have a fashion business they are the most important people.”
Kidswear and accessories have been earmarked as areas of growth. Expansion will also feature in EWM’s plans to return Peacocks to profitability. The business is in negotiations to take on a further 75 stores, on top of the 388 it acquired last week. Day is looking to restore Peacocks’ previous 640-store portfolio.
He said: “I don’t see Peacocks as a 400-store retailer but more a 500 to 600-store retailer.”