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Review at Penny Plain as investors take over

Womenswear retailer and mail-order business Penny Plain is undertaking a full review of its operations after being bought out of administration by a group of private investors.

The company, which has an annual turnover of £10 million, has been bought by entrepreneurs Gerald Stern, Guy Readman and Jeremy Middleton. Stern said the business, which includes women's casualwear brand Wealth of Nations, had cut its cost base and that he now expected it to return to profit by concentrating on its home shopping business, particularly online.

Since going into administration on March 13, Penny Plain has shut seven shops in the south and three department store concessions, leaving it with nine shops and one concession.

Stern added: "We will assess where the areas of weakness are. The company has a lot of talent but has suffered from mistakes."

He said Penny Plain faltered after a management buyout three years ago, followed by the purchase of Wealth of Nations and expansion.

It continues to be headed by managing director Nick Oliver and commercial director Lisa Lockey.

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