Edinburgh Woollen Mill

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The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd
Private limited company
Industry Retail
Founded 1947
Headquarters Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Drew Stevenson (founder)
David Stevenson (first chairman, proprietor of first retail store)
Philip Day (chief executive)
Products Clothing, gifts and souvenirs
Parent The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (Group) Ltd
Subsidiaries Jane Norman
Ponden Home
Website www.ewm.co.uk

Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) is a Langholm-based retailer specialising in clothing, along with interests in homewares and destination shopping for tourists.

The company's core Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores have traditionally targeted men and women over the age of 40,[1] but the business has expanded into new markets in recent years, most notably through the acquisition of value fashion retailer Peacocks in 2012.


The company was founded in 1946 by Drew Stevenson as the Langholm Dyeing and Finishing Company, dyeing wool yarn to order. His eldest son, David, until recently the chairman of the EWM Group, opened the first retail store in Randolph Place, Edinburgh, in 1970. In 1972, the first English store was opened in Carlisle.

Having been owned by several equity holdings over the previous decade the company was bought out by the newly formed EWM Group and was then subject to a secondary, management takeover in 2002, led by the current chief executive, Phillip Day.

In 2011, the group bought Jane Norman out of administration, having bought Ponden Mills, and merged it with 80 stores bought from the collapsed Rosebys home furnishings store to create Ponden Home.

On 22 February 2012, it was announced that EWM had purchased the Peacocks clothing retail brand along with 388 stores and concessions, its headquarters and logistics functions.[2][3] Although over 200 stores were not acquired at this time, the chain has embarked on a programme of expansion since.

In 2016 EWM purchased the Austin Reed brand, the British fashion retailer founded in 1900,

EWM placed Jane Norman into administration in June 2014, but retained the brand and stock to sell as an online-only business.[4]


The Edinburgh Woollen Mill (Group) Ltd (EWM Group) is now the holding company for three core brands: Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Jane Norman and Peacocks. As of spring 2016, the group operates close to a thousand stores in the UK, comprising:

  • 265 Edinburgh Woollen Mill stores[5]
  • 479 Peacocks stores[6]
  • 107 Ponden Home stores[7]
  • 88 tourist shops and visitor centres trading under various fascias[5] (e.g. James Pringle Weavers)
  • 27 destination sites combining all the Group's concepts[5] (e.g. Masson Mill)
  • A number of tourist attractions, including the Scottish Deer Centre in Fife and the Scottish Wool Centre in Perthshire.

The Peacocks brand is also franchised internationally.[8]


  1. ^ Edinburgh Woollen Mill
  2. ^ "Peacocks' HQ saved in buyout deal but 3,000 jobs lost". 22 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Peacocks takeover: Edinburgh Woollen Mill buy retailer but 3,100 jobs lost". BBC News. 22 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Wood, Zoe (24 June 2014). "Fashion retailer Jane Norman stores placed in administration". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c About Us - The Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  6. ^ Store Finder - Peacocks. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  7. ^ Store Finder - Ponden Home. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  8. ^ Peacocks International Franchise - Peacocks. Retrieved 2 May 2016.

External links[edit]