Marks & Spencer has bought Jaeger in a deal thought to be worth around £5 million after the British fashion brand fell into administration in November 2020. It is understood that the deal covers Jaeger’s intellectual property only, allowing M&S to sell Jaeger-branded goods on its own website as a third party brand.
This means that Jaeger shops, currently shopped because of lockdown, are likely to remain closed permanently and staff are unlikely to retain their jobs.
M&S has been pursuing a policy of selling third-party brands and already has agreements in place with Ghost, Nobody’s Child and numerous beauty brands. The supermarket chain is also thought to be in the running for some of the Arcadia Group brands currently up for sale, including Topshop.
The Dubai-based owner of Jaeger, Philip Day, placed the business into administration alongside sister retail brand, Peacocks. Day, who operates via EWM Group, also called administrators into the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home business earlier in November.
There is hope that Edinburgh Woollen Mill may yet find a buyer, as last week it issued sale contracts to a possible buyer for 400 stores. It is unlikely, however, that many stores will be saved.
M&S Chief Executive, Steve Rowe, said in last week’s trading update: “M&S wants to build a curated set of brands and merchandise largely for our online business but also through filling some of that excess space we have in stores.
“We’ve got no intention of turning M&S into a department store at all. This is about finding and partnering with adjacent brands. Adjacent in terms of style, adjacent in terms of customer base that enhance the M&S offer and make it the place to go to for an online shop.”
The retailer is, along with other grocers, also getting to grips with post-Brexit rules on food exports, saying it had difficulties with “point of origin” rules, leading to stores in Ireland missing key M&S food products. Such issues will be resolved over time.