A troubled retailer has told workers store closures and job losses are inevitable even if the company avoids going bust.
Dozens of Tayside and Fife workers are at risk of losing their jobs as Edinburgh Woollen Mill fights for survival.
The retail chain, which also owns Peacocks, warned it was on the verge of collapse earlier this month.
It has been granted a further 10 working days to speak to potential suitors and work on a rescue plan.
There are Edinburgh Woollen Mill branches in Dundee, St Andrews, Blairgowrie, Pitlochry, Arbroath, Perth, Dunfermline and Brechin.
The Courier revealed last month that the fashion chain would leave Dundee as soon as a new tenant was found for the Commercial Street site.
There are Peacocks branches in Arbroath and Leven. The chain’s Forfar branch closed suddenly last month.
The retailer filing for an intention to appoint administrators with the High Court at the start of October, with 24,000 jobs in the balance.
It is understood there is interest in parts of the business – the Peacocks and Jaeger brands.
But a further 100 to 150 stores across the group are being earmarked for closure while talks continue with landlords.
In a note written to staff the company said national and local lockdowns had hit sales very heavily.
It said: “Two weeks ago we wrote to you to say that we had applied to the High Court to protect the group from creditors for a short time, while we worked on a longer term plan to rescue as much of it as possible from the devastating effects of Covid-19 and the lockdowns.
“Since then we have been working on that plan and have made good progress, but it is a complex and difficult process.
“We are speaking to a number of parties who are interested in either buying parts of the business or offering investment.
“What is clear is that this process will mean a lot of change for all of us and inevitably a significant number of store closures.
“We are pleased to say though that today the High Court has agreed to extend the breathing space for another two weeks to give us more time to work on the details and further pursue these opportunities.
“We will use this time as best we can to protect the businesses and save jobs.”
The company, owned by businessman Philip Day, is in talks with the owner of shirt-maker TM Lewin – Torque Brands – to buy Jaeger, according to reports by Sky News, and other parties are said to be interested.
Discussions on the sale of the Peacocks brand were also hit by lockdown restrictions in Wales, with the company’s headquarters and distribution centre based in Cardiff.