By guest author Neil Craven, Financial Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail
Marks & Spencer directors have met in recent days to discuss the possibility of buying menswear brand Austin Reed alongside its sister label Jaeger, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The discussion is understood to have included buying wedding and occasionwear brand Jacques Vert. All three are part of the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill empire of retail mogul Philip Day.
The group, which also housed Peacocks and Ponden Home, collapsed as high streets were hit with painful lockdown measures earlier this month with just weeks to go before Christmas.
Marks & Spencer is understood to be in ‘pole position’ to buy the three brands, which it would operate as a subsidiary company with separate design teams if successful, according to City sources.
Next and sportswear mogul Mike Ashley have also been named as possible buyers.
City sources also last night speculated that Marks & Spencer may examine a bid for some of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group brands. It is expected to appoint administrators this week.
One City source endorsed a possible M&S acquisition of Topshop as ‘a great idea’.