The transformation of the high street
There will be at least mild irritation in the homes of many people of a certain age with the announcement that Ethel Austin entered administration for the fifth time over the past five years. The brand may not mean anything many readers of PR Week as it was a northern discount clothing chain that at one point had 300 hundred branches. Whilst economic hardship may have precipitated a number of retail closures, on the face of it Ethel Austin’s proposition would have made it an ideal survivor; Poundstretcher and Poundland are prime examples that cheap is king.
Ethel Austin isn’t the only discount retailer that has suffered; Madhouse – famous in London for its chaotic open fronted stores at the East end of Oxford Street went into administration in 2012. It seems that the economic hardship is a catalyst for a restructure rather than the underlying cause. A quick Google search of ‘Ethel Austin’ turns up lots of news coverage but no website for sign of a digital marketing strategy. Poundland and Poundstretcher are more about impulse buys or doing grocery shopping that would fall below the minimum spend of online supermarket spends.