500 Jane Norman jobs at risk of axe

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The Independent Online

Nearly 500 jobs are hanging by a thread after the department store Debenhams terminated its concession agreement with the fashion retailer Jane Norman.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill, the knitwear specialist owned by Philip Day, rescued 33 Jane Norman stores out of administration a month ago, but the 95 concessions in Debenhams fell under a separate agreement.

However, talks over taking the concessions forward broke down after Debenhams reportedly balked at "unreasonable" demands for "tens of millions" of pounds to continue the partnership. Debenhams will try to find other roles for the Jane Norman staff but the concessions are thought to have shut yesterday.

The department store confirmed the Jane Norman brand will no longer be available in its stores resulting from the end of the concession agreement.

It said it had tried to reach an agreement with the administrators and Edinburgh Woollen Mill but this had not been possible. Jane Norman collapsed under debts of about £140m.