Marks & Spencer has bought the Jaeger fashion brand from administrators, in a deal that excludes the retailers 63 remaining stores.
M&S expects to complete the purchase of Jaeger’s stock and other assets by the end of the month, it said in a statement on Monday. The price it paid for the brand is understood to be in the low millions of pounds.
The FTSE 250 retailer had been considered a frontrunner to snap up Jaeger after its owner, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, fell into administration in November along with other chains including Peacocks. The group, which was controlled by entrepreneur Philip Day, fell into severe financial difficulty after the Covid-19 pandemic forced it to close its doors.
Jaeger employed 347 people across 76 stores and concessions before the administration, but subsequently closed 13 locations, making 97 people redundant. It remained unclear whether any jobs would be saved in the M&S deal, with negotiations continuing. Across all of Day’s brands the administration put nearly 4,800 jobs at risk.
For M&S the acquisition comes as part of its efforts to sell a wider selection of brands online, a strategy that will pit it directly against its larger FTSE 100 rival, Next. M&S has already brought in other brands including environment-conscious clothing company Nobody’s Child, dressmaker Ghost and toy specialist the Early Learning Centre.
Richard Price, managing director of M&S’s clothing and home division, said: “We have bought the Jaeger brand and are in the final stages of agreeing the purchase of product and supporting marketing assets from the administrators of Jaeger Retail Limited.”
Jaeger’s business also included the formalwear chains Jacques Vert and Austin Reed, but those brands were also not included in the deal, and will continue to be owned by Day’s Dubai-based holding intellectual property company, which did not enter administration.
FRP, the administrators for Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, declined to comment.