Edinburgh Woollen Mill tycoon Philip Day is plotting a bid to save budget fashion chain Peacocks and jettison the rest of the group. 

Day is piecing together a deal to buy Peacocks’ best-performing stores out of administration under a new entity, which would be led by EWM boss Steve Simpson, according to The Sunday Times.   

It comes after the EWM Group, which also owns retailers such as Austin Reed and Jaeger, filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators. 

The move temporarily halted any creditor action, giving the group 10 days to try to secure its future. That period is due to expire this Thursday.

Day’s plans would leave thousands of jobs at risk. EWM employs around 21,000 staff and traded from more than 1,100 stores prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, 50 EWM and Peacocks stores were closed, with the loss of 600 jobs. The business has warned landlords that up to 150 more are likely to close in the coming weeks.

Peacocks continues to operate around 400 shops, but it is not yet known how many Day would seek to save.

Day would also continue to run women’s fashion chain Bonmarché, which sits outside the EWM Group.

The deal to buy back Peacocks hinges on backing from US hedge fund Davidson Kempner, with whom Day has been locked in talks.

If a deal cannot be struck by Thursday’s deadline, EWM is likely to request a 10-day extension at the High Court.