Edinburgh Woollen Mill snaps up Berwin & Berwin

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has acquired suit company Berwin & Berwin out of administration, adding more premium fashion brands to its growing portfolio as it continues to build the retail mix for its Days department store chain.


Berwin & Berwin brands include Baumler, Lambretta and Paul Costelloe - Photo: Baumler

The company committed to protect all jobs at Berwin & Berwin, which had suffered a downturn in trading and appointed three joint administrators from specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory LLP on 8 February.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group purchased the business and its assets via its Formal Tailoring 1885 Limited company. The Berwin & Berwin acquisition includes the Paul Costelloe, Lambretta and Baumler menswear brands, as well as 36 menswear concessions and outlets in the UK and existing stock.

Berwin & Berwin's German and Hungarian operations will be run by EWM Group as the main operator in a joint venture. The German office has been the home of Baumler for decades, while Hungary is home to the company’s suit-cutting function, producing high-quality menswear for the company's brands as well as private labels.

BUILDING A PORTFOLIO

The acquisition marks another step in EWM Group’s strategy of creating a multi-brand conglomerate with a range of men's and women's brands at a various prices points.

Over the last years, the Scottish company has been buying up distressed brands including Austin Reed, Jaeger and Viyella, and building a big portfolio of premium menswear brands for its new Days department store chain.

EWM said Berwin & Berwin's brands will be stocked in its Days stores as well as other stores within the group. The group also plans to open 5 new Berwin & Berwin concessions in the UK this year.

Berwin & Berwin’s UK team will move into the offices of Jaeger, Austin Reed and Viyella over the coming months, bringing together the best talent in UK menswear under one roof.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group also owns Peacocks, Jane Norman and Country Casuals. Last year, the group confirmed its growth and expansion strategy as it unveiled increases in both revenues and profits.

A spokesperson for EWM Group highlighted the synergies between Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group and Berwin & Berwin's manufacturing and cutting operations, and praised their “high-quality finish”.

The acquisition brings the number of stores and concessions that Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group operates to 1,113. The Group now employs approximately 24,000 people worldwide.

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