Jaeger and all EWM brands pulled from House of Fraser, own-brand Linea label also hit
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has confirmed that it’s pulling all of its brands from House of Fraser stores, with one of HoF’s in-house brand also being affected due to a manufacturing agreement.
Earlier this week it had been reported that the company was closing its concessions inside HoF but the latest news means that a raft of brands from Jaeger to the middle-market labels formerly under the Calvetron brands banner (like Jacques Vert), and more will have no presence in the stores whatsoever.
And importantly as mentioned, this will also affect HoF’s in-house offer due to an EWM deal that sees it making men’s suits under HoF’s Linea label. It started pulling inventory from the stores on Wednesday.
An EWM spokesperson said that “this decision was not taken lightly and follows a period of extended and sustained negotiations” with the now-Sports-Direct-owned HoF.
It added: “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 business.”
EWM is owned by billionaire Philip Day, who was a rival bidder against Mike Ashley-led Sports Direct to buy HoF. Sports Direct, which had held an 11% stake in the retailer prior to its administration filing, succeeded with a £90 million bid.
The latest news adds to HoF’s woes with the company’s e-tail website still closed and a stream of stories about its warehouse operations being hit by a dispute with logistics firm XPO.
HoF’s stores, which continue to trade, are suffering with Fashion Network noting at the weekend that stock levels look very low.
It all comes at a time when rival department stores are facing a mixture of positive and negative news. John Lewis has just unveiled its new rebrand but has also cut some jobs; Debenhams has released a new logo and upbeat ad campaign but continues to struggle with its turnaround; and Fenwick has cut a raft of jobs on the back of its latest annual loss.
But the big question for HoF is how it will bounce back from its current woes. If the current situation is just about teething troubles after what was always going to be a messy situation due to the firm’s administration filing and the number of outside suppliers involved, it has a chance. But it needs to find solutions quickly as October ushers in the start of the Christmas shopping season.
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