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EWM’s Peacocks strategy puts brakes on fast fashion

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.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • I think EWM is getting carried away with it's own PR and missing the point expressed by most retail economists regarding prime store chain footprint required now for the UK

    It;'s also questionable ,and time will tell, whether EWM has the ability to digest the very different format that is Jane Norman

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  • Everything I've seen EWM say so far has been worrying. What does it want? To return to a "Ladies big knickers shop" as it's previous owner said? He may have overseen a debacle at the end, but the previous management DID turn the brand into a player on the high street. Previously people either didn't know it existed, or turned their nose up. By all means Mr Day, reduce price point and get core product back in, but for heaven sake, DO NOT take the brand back to the dark ages. Let the people in Peacocks who are, no doubt very good at what they do, do their jobs. It was the debt that was the problem, not the offering. And perhaps as a man who's stores sell jumpers and shortbread in the same shop, let the buyers buy and keep the shortbread in EWM. :)

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  • Hear, last someone who understands the real issues and expresses them...unlike dear old Drapers who seem to continually get the wrong end of the stick.

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