“Good bye from EWM Staff”.

So reads the message left in the window of Andover’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill store, which now sits empty on the High Street.

Save for a mannequin, some boxes and a few tables, there is little left behind in the High Street unit. The shop was emptied out by workers on Wednesday, January 6, with staff leaving behind a heartfelt notice in the window, signed from Carol, Sarah, Ilva and Julie.

‘Closing Down’ signs had previously gone up in the store, alongside those in sister company Peacocks’. While Peacocks’ branch has closed temporarily due to lockdown, and is expected to reopen, the Edinburgh Woollen Mill branch is no longer listed on the company’s website at all.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill bosses wrote to staff on October 16, warning them that the company had been badly hit by lockdowns.

It then fell into administration in November, after administrators FRP carried out an urgent review. 56 stores were closed, with 328 more continuing to trade while a buyer was sought, seeing 866 jobs lost. A further 100 to 150 stores were said to be earmarked for closure.

At the time, Tony Wright, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “Recent months have proven extremely challenging for many retailers, even those that were trading well before the pandemic, including the teams at Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home.

“The administrations will provide some further protection while we continue our search for buyers to secure the long-term futures for both businesses.

“Regrettably, the impact of Covid-19 on the brands’ core customer base and tighter restrictions on trading mean that the current structure of the businesses is unsustainable and has resulted in redundancies.”

A spokesman for the company’s owners, EWM Group, said: “We explored all possible options to save Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Ponden Home from going into administration, but unfortunately the ongoing trading conditions caused by the pandemic and lockdowns proved too much.

“In the case of Peacocks and Jaeger we are speaking to a number of parties who are interested in either buying parts of the business or offering investment, and those conversations are ongoing.”

Peacocks and Jaegar then fell into administration later in November, with the latter reported to be on the verge of being sold to Marks & Spencer.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill were contacted for comment.