A look at the history of 48-store retailer Ethel Austin which has collapsed into administration for the fourth time today.


The womenswear business is founded by Ethel Austin and her husband George Austin in their Liverpool council house in 1934.


The company opens up its third store in the North West.


Founder Ethel Austin dies aged 88


The Austin family sells the business to a management team backed by Lloyds TSB Development Capital for £55m.


ABN-AMRO Capital buys the business for £122.5m

April 2008

Ethel Austin enters administration closing 33 stores at a cost of almost 400 jobs. At this point the company employed 2,900 staff and had 300 stores.

May 2008

Former boss of clothing firm MK One Elaine McPherson buys the Ethel Austin and sister homewares chain Au Naturale

February 2010

Ethel Austin enters administration closing 196 stores in the process. McPherson again buys it out of administration.

August 2011

Ashloch Ltd, led by former Blackwells bookshop chain director Sue Townsend, purchases the 62 remaining stores saving 400 jobs.

July 2012

Duff & Phelps appointed administrator