Edinburgh Woollen Mill boss in talks to buy closing department stores
British retail tycoon Philip Day is looking to expand his empire by buying some of the Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser stores which are earmarked for closure.
The billionaire is in talks to acquire around 10 stores from Marks & Spencer for his Days brand - a new department store chain introduced two years ago. The first branch opened in Carmarthen, in west Wales, in 2017, and there are plans for two further locations in Bedford and Crawley.
Day is also in negotiations with House of Fraser’s landlords to take over some of the group’s units when their lease agreements expire in autumn, The Telegraph reported.
The recent wave of closures brings attractive opportunities for Day, who has talked about opening at least 50 Days department stores across the UK.
Marks & Spencer is currently halfway through a cost-cutting strategy to close 100 of its UK shop by 2022 in a bid to become more agile and better respond to the rise of online shopping. 30 Marks & Spencer stores have already closed in towns including East Kilbride, Kirkcaldy and Falmouth.
Day’s vision for his department store chain is a destination where all of his brands, including Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Peacocks, Jaeger and Austin Reed, can be found under one roof for the first time.
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