The discount clothing retailer Ethel Austin is busy refurbishing its 300 stores, and has been introducing a more fashionable range of clothing to brighten up the wardrobes of its loyal shoppers. The company started in 1934 when Ethel Austin began a knitting business from the front room of her Liverpool house. A recent refinancing has left the chain under the ownership of ABN Amro, Credit Suisse, Eos Partners and management. Under chief executive Simon Cooper, the Merseyside firm reported sales of £158.2m in 2006.
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