The Edinburgh Woollen Mill
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM, Peacocks, Jane Norman and Ponden Home) retains its top five spot in Retail Weeks “Top 10 fastest growing retailers in the UK in 2016” for a second consecutive year.
The Group reported that its sales increased by 1.9% to £562.6 million in the year to 2015, placing it just inside the top 50 largest retailers by sales. During the year, like for like sales had been “positive” at the EWM fascia as it benefited from growth in foreign visitors to UK tourist sites as well as the expanding over-40s market.
Meanwhile, Peacocks, which EWM bought out of administration in early 2012, experienced an exceptionally strong year, with sales increasing 8% to £351.7 million. This business accounted for 62.5% of group sales, clearly benefiting from the £150 million investment it has received since being bought out of administration in 2012.
In 2016, the Group bought Austin Reed out of administration and re-launched the brand online in September. The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group is preparing to open the first new Austin Reed stores towards the end of 2017, targeting around 50 sites over 3 years.
The Group is also planning to open 200 stores over the next 18 months for all of its fascias and has acquired Country Casuals and Viyella, which it will re-launch in its existing EWM stores (Drapers Top 100, 2016).
Speaking to Retail Week in 2013, Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s chief executive Philip Day said that the key to the retailer’s success has been getting the product right. “I am very positive about the retail sector. I believe that if you produce an excellent product, you will have a robust business where the customer wants to shop.”