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Life & Style forced to close stores and cut staff as talks continue

Beleaguered homeware and fashion retailer Life & Style, which was born out of the ashes of Ethel Austin, is closing 22 of it 150 stores and making 274 people redundant as administrators RSM Tenon continue talks with potential buyers.

Joint administrator Simon Bonney said the closures – the locations of which are undisclosed – had come despite its efforts to “safeguard the health of the overall business”.

He added that RSM Tenon remains in talks with “a number of parties” about a disposal of all or part of the business.

Private equity business SKG Capital is understood to be the frontrunner to acquire the chain, which went into administration on June 10. Chris Althorp-Gormlay, the entrepreneur that heads SKG, was thought to keen to run the chain as a going concern. It is also thought that Life & Style director Elaine McPherson would remain involved if SKG’s bid was successful.

Life & Style was created in early 2010 following the administration of womenswear chain Ethel Austin. Macpherson acquired the trade name and assets of Ethel Austin and homewares chain Au Naturale.

Stores to close

  • Aberdeen
  • Ashby
  • Ayr
  • Beckton
  • Cheetham Hill
  • Corby
  • Dundee
  • Dunstable
  • Fishponds
  • Hebburn
  • Hull
  • Huyton
  • Kirkham
  • Llanelli
  • Maesteg
  • Market Drayton
  • Newtonards
  • Portadown
  • Renfrew
  • Rugeley
  • Swansea
  • Whitchurch

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