Monday, August 22, 2011

News: Ethel Austin Rotherham store saved

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The Ethel Austin store in Rotherham town centre has been saved from closure after fashion and homewares chain Life & Style was sold by its administrators to Ashloch Limited.

Ashloch Limited is owned by Sue Townsend who has a strong commercial track record in both UK and International retail and has previously worked for Mothercare and BHS. They will retain 62 stores, including the outlet in All Saints' Square, and over 470 staff, with all the business returning to its original Ethel Austin branding.

Ms Townsend said: "I am delighted with the conclusion to the purchase of the Ethel Austin chain and I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of returning this once great brand back to profitability."

The brand has been in administration a number of times and RSM Tenon directors Simon Bonney, Peter Hughes-Holland and Tom MacLennan were appointed as joint administrators in June, immediately closing 22 stores. A further 12 stores were closed in July.

John Gorle, national officer of trade union, Usdaw, said: "This is great news for all the loyal and hardworking staff at the company and very welcome news for the high street in general."

"Usdaw look forward to developing a good and constructive working relationship with the new owner Sue Townsend and I hope to meet with her as soon as possible to ascertain her immediate and medium term plans for the business."

"Usdaw will continue to do all we can to help revive the business and make it a success."


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