Up to 4,800 jobs have been put at risk as the fashion retailers Peacocks, Austin Reed, Jaeger and Jacques Vert have fallen into administration.
These retail brands are all part of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which sent out its own warnings that difficult times were on the way recently.
These budget fashion chains together currently employ 4,369 people across over 400 UK shops. These jobs are now obviously at risk and will potentially be largely lost in the near future.
Although, no official statement has been made confirming redundancies and job losses as of yet, but this is likely to change over the coming days and weeks.
Peacocks and Jaeger call in the administrators
Peacocks and Jaeger, two UK-based retailers, have recently called in administrators to manage their financial difficulties. This means that the companies have appointed a professional, typically an accountant, to oversee their financial affairs and try to turn their fortunes around.
The retailers have been facing financial difficulties due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the retail industry, which has resulted in a decline in consumer spending and increased costs. Peacocks, which operates over 400 stores in the UK, and Jaeger, a fashion brand with over 30 stores, have been unable to weather the economic downturn and have sought the assistance of administrators to help restructure their businesses and potentially secure new investment.
The administration process is a legal procedure that allows companies to continue trading while they work on a restructuring plan and seek new investment. However, there is no guarantee that the companies will be able to turn their fortunes around and there could be job losses and store closures as part of the restructuring process.
The news of Peacocks and Jaeger calling in the administrators is a reminder of the difficult economic climate faced by retailers in the UK, and the ongoing challenges faced by the industry as a result of the pandemic.
The trouble for fashion retailers
Fashion retailers have certainly had a rough year due to the ongoing effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, though they have been faced with difficulties for a few years now. In recent years huge retail businesses such as Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser have each been faced with store closures and financial threats of their own.
Of course this year has brought an unprecedented amount of difficulties onto the doorsteps of physical retailers like Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, who were already being outdone by their online competitors in the modern digital age.
The evolution of the internet has made it easier and more convenient for shoppers to browse and purchase goods than ever before. Whether that’s from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone – people can purchase almost anything from anywhere with just the click of a few buttons.
Whether you think it’s a good or bad thing, we’re seeing more brands such as Missguided close their physical stores, instead focusing their efforts into the online portion of their respective businesses and making that the main outlet of their sales. If it’s easier to generate profit online and connect with the customer, you’re going to see more and more businesses head down this modern road.
Social distancing and all of the rules and regulations surrounding it have certainly helped to take care of a good chunk of retail sales transferring to online sales.
Speaking of the social distancing rules being tightened recently, people are now once again not allowed to meet up with six or more individuals at a time. This will cast the worries of COVID-19 back into the minds of the public yet again and will likely scare crowds away from visiting physical stores when they have an easy-to-access alternative online.
Coronavirus has without a doubt impacted all aspects of our lives, and we’ve all had to think differently about the way we shop. You can pretty much guarantee that the trend for online shopping will continue to rise in a post-COVID world. We’re all becoming even more used to buying products online, due to the impacts of the terrible virus, and therefore it’s hard to see a point where we revert back to high street spending sprees.
Work goes on after fashion retail job losses
If you’re about to lose your job because of the closures that are currently taking place, be ensured that this isn’t the end of your employment journey, rather a mere bump in the road. Keep your CV up to date. The experience gained from the position you’re facing redundancy from will likely be key in gaining your next role at a new company.
Glassdoor advises, “Remember that a quality CV is succinct and tailored to the precise role. Be selective about which details to include and then ask yourself: Does this highlight the best of my work and what I have to offer?”
Target recruitment consultancies when looking to reboot your work life. These consultants will be tasked with headhunting new workers and finding ideal candidates to fill a void in workplaces. Try to obtain the email addresses of people such as these and give yourself the insider knowledge that may lend you the upper-hand when talking to recruiters.
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.