Beleaguered homewares chain Au Naturale and its sister company, value clothing retailer Ethel Austin, are to suffer more store closures.
The administrators of the companies, MCR, confirmed yesterday that a further 81 stores will cease to trade in the next three to four weeks, though most will be shut down by the end of this month. This follows the closure of 124 stores last month.
MCR said that a total of 696 positions were likely to be made redundant, and also announced a further 56 redundancies at the head offices in Knowsley.
Joint administrator and MCR partner Geoff Bouchier said: “It is a difficult retail climate, and until such time as any sale of the businesses can be completed, cost cutting measures need to be taken to allow the businesses to trade on in the short term.”
He added that there were “still opportunities for a purchaser of the businesses to come forward”.
The latest closures will halve the number of remaining stores, to around 80.