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Penny Plain in administration for second time after trading slumps

Troubled north-east retailer Penny Plain has gone into administration for the second time this year, with the loss of about 80 jobs.

The Penny Direct company, which operates a mail order, online and retail business under its Penny Plain fascia, as well as the Wealth of Nations mail-order womenswear brand, has ceased trading and has closed its 10 stores.

However, administrators Toby Underwood and Graham Newton of BDO Stoy Hayward said they remained "fairly confident" of selling the business as a going concern. According to a spokeswoman, the company has retained 35 staff to "aid the running of the business upon its eventual sale".

Penny Plain was bought out of administration in April by three local businessmen, Gerald Stern, Guy Readman and Jeremy Middleton. Turnover was about £10 million but it is understood this year's sales forecasts had fallen well below that figure.

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