CLOTHING retailer Ethel Austin has gone into administration.
The 300-strong chain will continue trading as normal whilst a search is made for a new buyer, administrators MCR said.
Redundancies have not been ruled out and MCR admitted there were "no guarantees" that a buyer could be found in the hard-hit retail sector.
Administrators blamed the move on failure to secure necessary funds as the big freeze also took its toll on sales.
Au Naturale Ethel Austin's sister firm, has also gone into administration.
Liverpool-based Ethel Austin was bought out of administration in 2008 by Elaine McPherson, the previous chief executive and joint owner of MK One.
She pledged to return Ethel Austin to its "former glory" with an overhaul of the stores and clothing range.
The move helped protect 2,500 jobs at the time, although more than 450 jobs and 33 stores were earlier axed by administrators.