UK retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) has confirmed the closure of 50 stores and 600 job cuts.

EWM also owns Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed, and Jane Norman. It has revealed plans to file a Notice of Intention (NOI) to appoint administrators.  

According to the company, the number of store closures could be increased by up to 100 more, with several additional redundancies.  

The group operates about 1,100 stores and is owned by billionaire businessman Philip Day.  

Last month, Day appointed advisory firm FRP to seek the business value of the two retail chains as he begun the process of potentially selling UK fashion chains Peacocks and Edinburgh Woollen Mill.  

In a separate development, coffee and sandwich shop chain Pret a Manger reportedly planned to shut six additional outlets in London, leaving 400 jobs at risk.  

The decision is in response to the slowdown in sales growth since September due to the coronavirus pandemic.   

Pret UK managing director Clare Clough was quoted by BBC as saying: “We’ve said all along that it’s up to Pret to decide our own future and that we must adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in.

“That’s why we have to make these further changes as we continue to transform our business model and prepare for the six months ahead.”