Shirtmaker TM Lewin Could Return to UK High Street in Rescue Deal

The shirtmaker TM Lewin could return to the high street after being rescued from administration by its main lender, understood to be Petra Group.

It is not clear if the group’s 50 staff will be kept on under the rescue deal for TM Lewin, which called in administrators last month for the second time in less than two years.

The business, which operated 150 shops before the pandemic, hasbeen a solely online business since first going into administration in June 2020. The group, which is best known for its shirts but also sells suits, knitwear, coats and accessories such as ties, became a victim of a shift towards more casual dressing as working from home increased during Covid.

Thomas Mayes Lewin and Geoffrey James Lewin founded the firm in Panton Street, London, in 1898, then established themselves on nearby Jermyn Street, the home of English shirtmaking, in 1903.

The firm supplied the RAF and British army with uniforms during the first world war and made its shirts in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, until the late 1980s when it moved production overseas.

Will Wright, the head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator to TM Lewin, said: “Following a great deal of interest, we’re pleased to have achieved this sale which secures the future of this famous British retail brand.

“We understand the new owners will be relaunching the online trading platform over the coming weeks and, in the longer term, are considering the possibility of opening new high street stores.”

Formal clothing retailers have struggled during the pandemic but there are signs of rejuvenation.

Moss Bros, which specialises in tailored suits, announced this week it was planning to open 10 new stores, while clothing retailer Next credited surging suit sales for a better than expected performance in the first few months of the year.

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Shirtmaker TM Lewin could return to UK high street in rescue deal