MCR, the administrators of homewares chain Au Naturale and its sister company, value clothing retailer Ethel Austin, today confirmed the imminent closure of 114 stores.
This follows a statement from MCR earlier this month announcing that 129 of the companies’ loss-making outlets were to begin closing-down sales although, at the time, the administrators seemed hopeful of finding a buyer.
Most of the 114 stores will cease trading by the end of February with the loss of 1,048 jobs. The businesses currently employ over 3,000 people.
In a statement MCR says: “In light of the current economic climate these stores identified for closure did not attract a purchaser. Regrettably, as a result of their current financial performance, these stores will shortly cease to trade.”
The remaining 162 shops will continue to operate as usual while a purchaser for the rest of the businesses as a going concern is sought.
The statement goes on: “We are still hopeful of selling the remaining business and discussions are ongoing with a number of interested parties. The dealings relating to the closure stores will not affect the operations of the continuing stores.”