Two popular clothes shops are set to close in Harborough - with about 12 workers set to lose their jobs
The loss of the two stores will come as a new blow to the town centre
Two popular clothes shops are set to close in Market Harborough amid the “brutal” Covid-19 pandemic – with about 12 workers set to lose their jobs.
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) on The Square and Peacocks on the High Street have both stuck huge Closing Down Sale notices in their front windows.
They are preparing to sell out all their stock and shut as the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which owns both national high street chains, stands on the brink of collapse.
The loss of the two stores will come as a new blow to the town centre in Market Harborough as the coronavirus crisis continues to take a toll in the UK’s retail sector.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group owner Philip Day has called in administrators, throwing over 24,000 jobs across his retail empire into serious jeopardy.
“Like every retailer, we have found the past seven months extremely difficult," said Edinburgh Woollen Mill chief executive Steve Simpson.
“This situation has grown worse in recent weeks as we have had to deal with a series of false rumours about our payments and trading which have impacted our credit insurance.
“Traditionally, EWM has always traded with strong cash reserves and a conservative balance sheet.
“But these stories and the reduction in credit insurance – against the backdrop of the initial lockdown, current local lockdowns, and the second wave of Covid-19 reducing footfall - have made normal trading impossible.
“As directors, we have a duty to the business, our staff, our customers and our creditors to find the very best solution in this brutal environment.”
A member of staff at Peacocks in Market Harborough told the Harborough Mail that they employ about eight workers.
“We have been given no hard information what so ever about our futures here.
“We only know what we’ve read in the papers and seen on the television news.
“But we are staging a closing down sale so it’s not looking good for us, unfortunately, it’s all very uncertain,” she said.
An employee at the town’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill store said they have a four-strong workforce.
“We have no idea what’s going on here because we haven’t been told.
“We are a very popular store and we have been doing pretty well here lately,” she said.
“We have just got to play it by ear.
“But it’s shops like ours and Peacocks that help to make our busy town centre here in Market Harborough what it is.
“So it would be a real shame for both us, the staff, and all of our customers if we both do have to close down for good.”