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A deal has been agreed to rescue the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Ponden Homes and Bonmarché retail chains, which were on the brink of closure. The businesses went into administration last year after a collapse in sales due to the pandemic.

It is thought about 2,500 jobs and some 300 stores will be saved. The buyers are a consortium of international investors who will inject fresh funds into the business, led by the existing management team.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, which sells mid-price knitwear and other clothing to older shoppers, is part of a stable of retail brands owned by businessman, Philip Day. The deal also covers two other brands in the group, value retailer Bonmarché, and Ponden Home, an interiors chain based in the south east of England.

It is understood that Mr Day will effectively lend the group the money to buy the businesses which will be paid back over a number of years. The deal was still in the process of being finalised, BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson said. On Monday, Marks & Spencer announced it was buying Jaeger, another brand that had belonged to Philip Day’s portfolio.

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