Ullapool store among casualties as retail group shuts 85 branches
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The Ullapool branch of Edinburgh Woollen Mill is among 85 stores which will permanently close after administrators agreed a rescue package for the firm.
Although the closures are expected to result in the loss of some 500 jobs, the deal announced by administrators FRP Advisory will allow 246 stores to remain open, among them branches in Inverness, Fort Augustus, and John O'Groats, protecting 1453 jobs across Edinburgh Woollen Mill and its partner Ponden Homes retail group.
Purepay Retail, a consortium led by Steve Simpson, who is the current chief operating officer of Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) Group, will operate under licence across both brands.
Although the Ullapool branch of Edinburgh Woollen Mill at 10 Shore Street will remain permanently closed after shutting last October, there was better news for its sister outlet at 5 Shore Street, which trades as the West Highland Woollen Company, which has been saved.
Another partner brand to EWM, fashion chain Peacocks, remains in administration.
Former owner Philip Day will continue to control the business with new investors repaying him the money owed as a secured creditor.
Unsecured creditors including landlords and suppliers are unlikely to get back any money owed.
Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said the transaction provided the best chance to save stores and jobs, but also to meet statutory obligations to creditors.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill had previously closed 50 of its stores late last year, including its Dingwall branch in October and its Elgin outlet a few weeks later.