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Philip Day (businessman)

Philip Day
Born Philip Edward Day
October 1965 (age 52)
Residence Dubai, UAE
Nationality British
Known for CEO and owner, Edinburgh Woollen Mill
Net worth £1.05 billion (April 2016)[1]
Spouse(s) Debra Day
Children 3

Philip Edward Day (born October 1965) is a Dubai-based British billionaire businessman, and the CEO and owner of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which owns Peacocks, Jaeger, Jane Norman, Austin Reed, and other high-street retailers.

As of April 2016, his net worth is £1.05 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.[1]

Early life

Philip Edward Day was born in October 1965.[2] He grew up on a council estate in Stockport and while at school he held down a number of part-time jobs, including working at his parents' newsagents shop.[3]

Turning down a place at university, Day started his career at clothing manufacturers Coats Viyella and Wensum before being headhunted to join Aquascutum at the age of 28.[4] He remained at the brand for 5 years, becoming Joint Managing Director.[3]


In 2001, Day left Aquascutum and joined Edinburgh Woollen Mill, where he led a buyout of the company backed by Rutland Fund Management, a private equity firm. In 2002, he acquired the company for £67.5 million with the backing of Bank of Scotland.[5] At the time, the company employed 3,140 people.[5]

In 2008, EWM bought home furnishing company Ponden Mill and soft furnishings company Rosebys. The stores were rebranded as Ponden Home across the UK.[6]

In 2009, Day bought Scottish golfing brand ProQuip for a reported £750,000.[7] In 2011, Day acquired women's fashion retailer Jane Norman, which had fallen into administration.[8]

In 2016, Day bought outfitters Austin Reed and Country Casuals from administration. Day said he planned to open 50 new Austin Reed stores by 2018.[9]

In 2017, Day acquired British fashion brand Jaeger, again from administration. Day said the acquisition was part of EWM's plan to open a new department store.[10]


In 2012, Day acquired fashion retailer Peacocks out of administration. Day is reported have put £200 million of his own money on the line for the acquisition. EWM bought 338 of the chain's stores and said that they would open another 50 stores.[11] According to Forbes, the turnaround of Peacocks played a significant role in Day's success.[12]

Days Department Stores

In May 2017, Day opened announced the Days Department Stores. The first store opened in former BHS premises in Guildhall Square, Carmarthen. According to Drapers, Day plans to open more than 50 of the stores and has plans to open shops in Crawley and Bedford.[13]

The department store stocks products from a number of EWM brands, including Peacocks, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Ponden Home, Jane Norman, Jaeger, and Austin Reed.[14][15]


Day owns a wildlife sanctuary in Scotland which undertakes research into the preservation and reintroduction of endangered Scottish wildlife, including wolves and wildcats.[16] The park has more than 14 species of deer.[17] Day also owns the largest green energy Anaerobic Digester in the UK.[16]

He is the main financial backer of Carlisle United F.C. although he says that he doesn't like football. He says he supports the team because otherwise it wouldn't exist. Edinburgh Woollen Mill is also the main shirt sponsor of the team.[18]

Personal life

Edmond Castle, c. 1840–50. Drawing by Charles Greenwood or Frederick Peake.[19]

Day has been married to his wife Debra since 1990. He owns Edmond Castle, a Tudor-style house near Brampton, Cumbria, England,[3][20] built 1824 to 1829, and designed by Sir Robert Smirke.[20] Day is keen on shooting, especially pheasant and duck, and has been a director of Carlisle United, the local football club.[3]

They have two daughters and one son.[1][3] In 2016, their daughter Lauren Day joined the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group board as group development director.[21] In 2010, their daughter Kirstie Day won Miss Cumbria; and a leaked email from EWM's head office to its stores ordered staff to vote for her to become Miss England, "I need and expect all stores to register a minimum of 10 votes today and I mean everybody!"[3]

In 2013, Day was fined £450,000, ordered to pay £457,000 in costs, and called "grossly negligent" by the judge, for clearing part of Gelt Woods, near Brampton, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), for a pheasant shoot.[22]

In February 2014, Day was due in Dumfries Sheriff Court on a charge of driving without due care and attention, after admitting to driving at 83mph and overtaking unsafely on the A7 between Auchenroch and Canonbie in February 2012.[23]

As of 2017, Day lives in Dubai, and "spends fewer than 10 days a year in the UK".[24][25]


  1. ^ a b c "Rich List 2016". The Sunday Times (page 37). 24 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited (The) – Officers (free information from Companies House)". Companies House. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sarah Butler. "Knight in a comfy cardie who rescued Peacocks shows he has style | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Shah, Oliver (2017-05-28). "The new king of the high street". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b "£67.5m Edinburgh Woollen Mill deal 'vote of confidence'". Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Corporate History | Ponden Home". Ponden Home. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  7. ^ Butler, Sarah (2012-02-24). "Knight in a comfy cardie who rescued Peacocks shows he has style". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  8. ^ Butler, Sarah (2012-02-24). "Knight in a comfy cardie who rescued Peacocks shows he has style". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  9. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  10. ^ "Days department store readies UK retail roll-out". Drapers. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  11. ^ Barry, Sion (2012-02-24). "Peacocks new owner Philip Day plans to reopen 50 stores". walesonline. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  12. ^ "Philip Day". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  13. ^ "Exclusive: Days department store to launch in Crawley". Drapers. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 
  14. ^ Soult, Graham. "Days department store in the ex-BHS in Carmarthen: what we know so far - Soult's Retail View". Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Tim Wallace. "New department store Days opens in bid to defy trend of closures". Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Philip Day". Retrieved November 16, 2017. 
  17. ^ "The Scottish Deer Center". Retrieved November 16, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Philip Day: If I didn't sponsor Carlisle Utd, club might not exist". Retrieved November 16, 2017. 
  19. ^ Edmond Castle, the Seat of Thomas Henry Graham. Rostron & Edwards. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Edmond Castle – Visit Cumbria". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Philip Day's daughter joins Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group board". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Edinburgh Woollen Mill's Phillip Day loses woodland damage fine appeal – BBC News". Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "Tycoon in Dubai and misses court (From HeraldScotland)". 9 February 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  24. ^ "Philip Day confirms Jaeger buy, opens first Days department store - News : Retail (#832507)". Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  25. ^ Sarah Butler (1 January 1970). "Edinburgh Woollen Mill acquires Jaeger brand in plan for new chain | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2017.