Austin Reed to make high street return

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 | ADMINISTRATION

Menswear retailer Austin Reed is to return to the high street with 50 new stores just seven months after it fell into administration.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which has acquired five concession stores and the rights to the Austin Reed brand, said the new shops will open by 2018 as part of a £100 million revival plan.

The first stores, including a flagship in London, are set to open at the end of next year. Edinburgh Woollen Mill has already launched the brand online.

Austin Reed, which was founded in 1900, fell into administration in April with the closure of 120 stores and the loss of 1,000 jobs.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, owned by the entrepreneur Philip Day, has embarked on a major expansion plan and wants to open 200 stores across its group by 2018, creating around 2,000 jobs.

Steve Simpson, group commercial director of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, said Austin Reed would help the group deliver organic growth.

“By remaining debt-free and with a strong balance sheet, we are always ready to take advantage of any further opportunities through acquisitions, as and when they may arise,” he said.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill also operates the clothing chain Peacocks and fashion store group Jane Norman.

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