Ethel Austin enters administration for second time in two years

| February 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

Discount clothing retailer Ethel Austin has entered administration for the second time in two years.

The Liverpool-based retailer, which has 300 stores, will trade as normal while administrators MCR seek a new buyer.

However, MCR could not rule out closures or job losses since there were “no guarantees” that a buyer could be sought in the current economic climate.

Homeware retailer, Au Naturale, which is Ethel Austin’s sister company, has also been placed into administration.

Geoff Bouchier from MCR comments: “There is no doubt in our mind that the onset of the global economic crisis has hit the retail sector particularly hard.

“As a consequence of this the companies have struggled to secure funders which in turn has impacted their ability to generate sales revenue,” he added.

Ethel Austin, which was established 76 years ago, has faced severe pressure from cheaper budget chains such as Primark. The heavy snowfall in January also devastated sales on the High Street.

The group was bought out of administration in 2008 by Elaine McPherson - former chief executive and joint owner of MK One.

McPherson attempted to restore Ethel Austin to its “former glory” and the move helped secure 2,500 jobs at the time. However, almost 500 jobs and 33 stores were earlier axed by administrators.

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