Belfast Telegraph

Hopes of rescue for Au Naturale and Ethel Austin raised

By Brendan McDaid

Hundreds of jobs could now be saved at the Au Naturale and Ethel Austin stores in Northern Ireland after the company announced it has had ‘substantial interest’ after going into administration.

A spokesman for the company said last night that every effort was being made to secure a buyer for the firm following Monday’s shock announcement.

It is estimated that around 200 people work in Au Naturale and Ethel Austin stores in Magherafelt, Belfast, Bangor and Portadown as well as Derry, where the chains are basedat the Ferryquay Street premises vacated by the ill-fated Woolworths just last year.

The company employs an estimated 3,200 people across the UK. A spokesman for the company said a lot of interest had been generated. “The whole company has gone into administration.”

He added: “All the stores are open at the moment and nobody has been made redundant. We are pouring all our energies into finding a buyer and we expect to put out another statement shortly.

“I can confirm there has been substantial interest in the group and things seem to be moving very, very quickly.”

Belfast Telegraph