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EWM Group responds to BGMEA, BKMEA’s threat

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) Group has responded to BGMEA and BKMEA’s threats to place an embargo on business and to potentially blacklist Peacocks, Jaeger, Bonmarché, and other brands owned by EWM, unless they pay their outstanding dues to their suppliers in Bangladesh. EWM is the parent company of Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed, Jacques Vert, Country Casuals, Windsmoor, Baumler of Germany, Bonmarché, and Ponden Home.

The company said it had already paid for majority of future stock when the COVID-19 crisis hit but is now talking to manufacturers about the remainder. The company has looked at literally every option on the table and worked hand-in-hand with all its suppliers to find solutions. However, it also needs to recognise that these are difficult and complicated issues.

According to the BGMEA, EWM has so far cancelled orders worth $8.22 million (£6.76 million) across five factories. It is understood that EWM has reached agreements with suppliers on more than half of this total, with about $2-3 million yet to be settled.

The association alleged that certain buyers have been taking advantage of the coronavirus situation by demanding unreasonable discounts. It asked EWM owner Philip Day to settle dues by May 29, or otherwise face an embargo on doing business in Bangladesh.