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Life & Style on brink of administration

Life & Style, the fashion and homewares business born out of the administration of womenswear chain Ethel Austin, is on the brink of collapse after just over a year in existence.

Life & Style, which was set up in March last year by Elaine McPherson, the former head of defunct value chain MK One, filed an intention to appoint administrators in the Manchester High Court on June 3.

It has ten days from that date before restructuring business Begbies Traynor could be appointed administrators.

Begbies Traynor partners Andrew Dick, Stephen Conn and Gary Lee are cited as joint administrators in documents filed at the court.

Life & Style was formed in March 2010 after McPherson acquired the trade name and assets of Ethel Austin and homewares chain Au Naturale. It was the second time that she had rescued Ethel Austin from administration after it collapsed for the first time in May 2008.

At the time Suresh Ruia, managing director of Manchester-based textile business Beamfeature, provided a “significant” amount of cash - thought to be £10m - to support the business and its expansion plans. He became a major shareholder in the business. It is unclear whether he is still involved in the business.

It is unclear how many stores could be impacted if the business hits the buffers or how many employees could be affected. In May last year, the business consisted of 91 former Ethel Austin stores.

No comment was available from Begbies Traynor at the time of writing. McPherson did not return calls at the time of writing.

Readers' comments (4)

  • "Rescued from Administration' is a complete misnomer.

    The UK desperately needs to change this part of Co Law which is being used to effectively swindle many businesses of their money.

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    Life and Style Retail Ltd have just announced to their staff that they have gone into administration possibly owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to thier creditors such us us.

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  • poor business in vey poor trading enviroment

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  • We approached them last year as a supplier. The buyers didnt know what they were doing. No offence. Its not al about getting the product cheap.

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