Fears for jobs as Ethel Austin goes into administration

15-04-2008

Fears for jobs as Ethel Austin goes into administration
The Merseyside based retailer Ethel Austin has gone into administration, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Menzies Corporate Restructuring has taken control of the 74-year-old business and partners Philip Duffy and David Whitehouse have been appointed administrators.

"At this stage, it’s too early to be certain about the exact reasons for the financial difficulties," Mr Duffy said.

"Our primary concern is to ensure that the business continues to trade in the coming weeks and that a suitable buyer is found.

"Despite the current challenges faced by the retail sector we remain confident that a buyer can be found."

The discount store chain employs around 2,800 staff across its 300 stores with latest annual turnover in the region of £150 million.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Worker (Usdaw) said that they had been aware of the financial difficulties experienced by Ethel Austin for some time.

"We will now be working closely with Ethel Austin and administrators in an attempt to secure the employment of as many members as possible," John Gorle, a Usdaw national officer, said.

Last year, Ethel Austin signed a contract as the official clothing supplier to Liverpool's European Capital of Culture 2008.

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