Marks & Spencer bought the fashion brand Jaeger from the directors, in a deal that excludes the remaining 63 stores.
M&S plans to finalize the purchase of shares and other Jaeger assets by the end of the month, it said in a statement Monday. The price paid for the brand is a few million pounds.
Retailer FTSE 250 had been seen as a favorite to take Jaeger after its owner, Edinburgh Woolen Mill Group, fell into administration in November along with other chains, including Peacocks. The group, controlled by entrepreneur Philip Day, fell into serious financial difficulties after the Covid-19 pandemic forced it to close.
Jaeger employed 347 people in 76 stores and concessions before the administration, but subsequently closed 13 sites, making 97 people laid off. It is still unclear whether jobs will be saved in the M&S deal, with negotiations continuing. In all of Day’s brands, the administration has jeopardized nearly 4,800 jobs.
For M&S, the acquisition is part of its efforts to sell a wider choice of brands online, a strategy that will pit it directly against its biggest rival FTSE 100, Next. M&S has used other brands in the past, including eco-friendly clothing company Nobody’s Child, seamstress Ghost, and toy specialist Early Learning Center.
Richard Price, Managing Director of the Apparel and Home Division of M&S, said: “We have purchased the Jaeger brand and are in the process of accepting the purchase of the product and the supporting marketing assets from the directors of Jaeger Retail Limited.”
Jaeger’s business also included formal wear chains Jacques Vert and Austin Reed, but these brands were also not included in the deal and will continue to be owned by the Dubai-based intellectual property company, which did not enter the administration.
FRP, directors of the Edinburgh Woolen Mill group, declined to comment.