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Jane Norman website back in action following The Edinburgh Woollen Mill’s acquisition of the business

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The Edinburgh Woollen Mill – famed for knits and casual wear for the over 45s – has acquired the business and assets of Jane Norman, the high street women’s fashion retailer. In a surprise pre-pack administration deal with administrator Zolfo Cooper, EWM has acquired the Jane Norman name, 33 standalone stores and the stock from all of its 94 stores, UK concessions and some overseas outlets. The online business is also secured by the deal. It’s thought that 396 jobs out of 1,600 at Jane Norman have been safeguarded.

“We are excited to be the new owner of one of the UK’s most successful and dynamic young fashion brands,” said a spokesman. “The majority of the UK stores will be open for business from today [June 29]. The online business will be open from tomorrow and the backlog of customer enquiries should be resolved within 24 hours.”

The Jane Norman brand was founded in 1952, and has carved a niche targeting 16 to 25 year old fashion conscious women with sexy affordable adaptations of the latest catwalk trends. It’s known to generate high sales per square foot of it retail space, but has also pursued online sales since 2008. A transactional site, designed by Pod1 launched in July 2008, in conjunction with BT Fresca providing the e-commerce platform. The site is fully integrated with Jane Norman’s buying and merchandising system.

It is not yet clear what changes to the web operation will be made.

In November 2011 The Edinburgh Woollen Mill revealed plans to open more than 60 stores after it recorded a 50% surge in profits. The company has also been investing in its e-commerce operation in recent years.

The Group has continued to invest in acquisitions, and in the last couple of years has acquired the assets of Ponden Mill and Rosebys, and Proquip, the famous sponsor of the Ryder Cup European Tour, specializing in waterproof clothing.

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