Edinburgh Woollen Mill pulls brands from House of Fraser
Beatties' owner House of Fraser has suffered a fresh blow after Edinburgh Woollen Mill pulled its fashion brand concessions, including Jaeger, from its stores.
EWM is also stopping the supply of the own-brand menswear its Berwin & Berwin business makes for House of Fraser.
It follows the collapse of talks between Edinburgh Woollen Mill and House of Fraser's new owner, Sports Direct – owned by tracksuit tycoon Mike Ashley – after it bought the department store chain out of administration for £90 million.
The move by EWM also means it has removed concessions such as Jaeger, Janet Norman and the Calvatron brands such as Jacques Vert. It is understood the move affects around 200 of EWM's 24,000 strong workforce who worked at the House of Fraser stores.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill has concessions in around 30 of House of Fraser's 59 stores, but the loss of the menswear supply will affect all of them, including Beatties in Wolverhampton and the shops in Birmingham, Telford and Shrewsbury.
A spokesperson for EWM Group 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 September 10, and anticipate that that guarantee will be honoured."
No-one from House of Fraser has commented on the move. Meanwhile talks are understood to be continuing between Mr Ashley and his team and the landlords of House of Fraser stores around the country as he seeks to keep the store chain running.